A judge has refused to reduce the sentence of a New Mexico man serving life in prison for setting his estranged wife on fire outside her Oklahoma City home in 2010.
The attorney for George M. Rodriguez, 36, asked Oklahoma County District Judge Jerry D. Bass on Monday to consider a 40-year prison term previously offered by prosecutors that Rodriguez rejected.
Bass denied the motion for modification, telling Rodriguez, “You have forfeited your right to be out there in society.”
Rodriguez was sentenced to life in prison in July. He also was sentenced to 12 years in prison for burning the victim's clothes and 11 years in prison for breaking into her house.
He pleaded guilty to the arson case in June 2011. He was also ordered to spend a year in jail for kicking out a police car's window and another year in jail for contempt of court.
After he was sentenced, Rodriguez yelled to a television news cameraman as he was being led away to a jail elevator: “It was worth it. I'd do it all over again. She deserved it.”
The victim, Laura Miller, survived, but has scars on both arms, her face, neck and upper body. She told the judge Rodriguez doused her with gasoline from a pop bottle and used a lighter to ignite the fuel.
Their three daughters witnessed the March 9, 2010, attack. After being caught, he admitted lighting the fire and said, “Hope she burns in hell,” according to testimony at his preliminary hearing.
Rodriguez appeared contrite Monday, apologizing to the court for his actions. He told the judge there was no excuse for the “terrible, horrible things I did.”
“I had the devil in me,” Rodriguez said. “This time in prison has brought me closer to the Lord.”
District Attorney David Prater told the court the only reason he offered Rodriguez a deal was because the victim did not want to face her attacker in court.
“Forty years was way too low,” Prater said. “Did I think it was fair? No.”