WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — A Delaware woman who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for an arson that left three firefighters dead has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Beatriz Fana-Ruiz, 30, was sentenced Friday after pleading guilty in August to one count each of second-degree murder, arson and assault.
Prosecutors say the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement has filed a detainer against Fana-Ruiz, seeking her deportation to her home country of the Dominican Republic when she is released from custody.
Fana-Ruiz had been charged with six counts of first-degree murder, which carries a mandatory life sentence, as well as assault, three counts of arson, and nine counts of reckless endangering.
Her guilty plea came just days after a judge set restrictions on expert testimony regarding whether a confession Fana-Ruiz gave investigators was false or coerced. The judge also noted in his ruling that there was no basis to conclude that authorities violated her Miranda rights.
Lt. Christopher Leach and Senior Firefighter Jerry Fickes of the Wilmington Fire Department died at the scene of the September 2016 row house fire after the first floor of the home collapsed. Senior Firefighter Ardythe Hope was hospitalized in critical condition for several weeks before she died.
Authorities have said Fana-Ruiz was angry about her living situation and unhappy with her life when she set a fire in the basement of the home where she was staying.
Relatives of several firefighters who battled the blaze have filed a federal lawsuit against the city claiming that cost-cutting policies and understaffing at the fire department contributed to their deaths and injuries.
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