UK & World News

  • 12 January 2013, 16:12

Man Gets Life For Burning Woman Alive In Lift

A handyman who burned a 73-year-old woman to death in a Brooklyn lift has been sentenced to a minimum of 50 years in prison.

Prosecutors said Jerome Isaac, 48, was sentenced for killing Deloris Gillespie inside her Brooklyn apartment building in December 2011.

Isaac had pleaded guilty to first degree murder charges in November. A plea deal had called for a 50-year sentence.

The attack was captured on a security camera.

Isaac went to the fifth floor and lay in wait for his victim, who was returning home from shopping.

He is said to have first glued shut the locks on Ms Gillespie's apartment and then doused the lift door with accelerant.

As she opened it, Isaac sprayed her in the face, then covered her from head to toe in flammable liquid.

Ms Gillespie crouched down and threw her hands up to her face.

Having cornered the woman in the lift, he then ignited a Molotov cocktail - a wine bottle filled with accelerant with a rag stuffed in its neck.

The CCTV video went white as Ms Gillespie was set on fire using the bottle's wick.

Isaac then threw the bottle inside the lift, after crouching behind the door "as if he was anticipating an explosion", according to one policeman.

Isaac turned himself in the next day.

Police said Isaac attacked MsGillespie because he believed she owed him money.

Prosecutors said he told probation officials conducting a mental health evaluation that he acted on orders from the devil.

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