The North Sumatra District Court has declared a woman guilty of starting a house fire that killed four people, sentencing her to life in prison.
Presiding judge Richard Silalahi handed down the life sentence against Jaya Mita Ginting who was proven guilty of the crime.
During the hearing, the panel of judges also sentenced three other defendants in the case, Cari Muli Ginting, Maju Suranta Siallagan and Rudi Suranta Ginting, to 20 years’ imprisonment each.
“The defendants were proven to have violated article 187 of the Criminal Code on arson causing death,” Richard said during the trial on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, another defendant, Zulpa Nitra Purba, was tried in a separate hearing and was sentenced to 18 years in prison..
The panel of judges told the court that the defendants were proven to have set fire to a house owned by Ganti Ginting in April 2017, resulting in the deaths of four people who lived inside. Ganti’s wife, child and two grandchildren died from smoke inhalation.
Judge Richard said the act was motivated by Jaya and Cari Muli’s anger toward Ganti for failing to complete the payment for the house, which he had bought from Jaya for Rp 102 million (US$7,140). Jaya and Cari then asked the other defendants to set fire to the house as a warning to Ganti, and also to ensure the property was vacated.