Watson denied a defense request to suspend the entire sentence and place Owen in a juvenile facility, telling the defendant and his attorney they had plenty of opportunities to resolve the case before trial.
“The only reason this case wasn't worked out was because you wouldn't take responsibility for your actions,” the judge told Owen.
Owen did offer a long-awaited apology, but it mattered little to three generations of family members in attendance.
“He did not show remorse to my family. He showed remorse to the judge,” Terry Haynes said. “He has never shown one ounce of remorse during the entire trial.”
Prosecutors alleged Owen, then 15, started a fire in a trash container outside the couple's garage, which spread to the structure.
Neither arson investigator who testified, however, could link burned pajama pants found on the defendant's property and remnants of two Molotov cocktails found in front of his house with the trash can fire.
Defense attorney Francis Courbois argued Friday as he did at trial that prosecutors rushed to judgment and did not have any evidence linking Owen to the fatal fire.
“He didn't light this house on fire,” Courbois said. “He's immensely remorseful for what happened.”
“There is no evidence of remorse in this case,” Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Chance told the judge.