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Salina Surgical Hospital
election 2017

18-year-old gets life in prison for setting fatal fire

Associated Press - July 30, 2017 8:24 am

The last of five defendants in the death of a Pittsburg State University student has been sentenced.

A judge has sentenced an 18-year-old to life in prison for intentionally setting a fire that killed his mother and sister in 2013.

Samuel Vonachen was 14 when he set the fire and 17 when convicted.

The Hutchinson News says Reno County District Judge Trish Rose sentenced Vonachen to mandatory life sentence on each count of first-degree murder, plus 12 years, 11 months for the attempted murder of his father and 4 years, 11 months for aggravated arson.

She ordered the sentences to run concurrently, which means Vonachen could be eligible for parole in 25 years.

Prosecutors say Vonachen spread gasoline around the house and set it on fire, killing his mother, 47-year-old Karla Jo Vonachen, and his 11-year-old sister Audrey. His father escaped the blaze. Firefighters heard screaming inside when they arrived to find the house engulfed in flames.


Information from: The Hutchinson (Kan.) News, http://www.hutchnews.com.