NEWBERRY, S.C. (WBTW) — A South Carolina man pleaded guilty Monday to burning down a woman’s house while her two children were inside sleeping, according to the 8th Circuit Solicitor’s Office.

Jorge Mora-Vahena, 29, of Newberry, pleaded guilty to second-degree arson and first-degree assault and battery, according to the solicitor’s office.

Judge Eugene C. Griffith Jr. sentenced Mora-Vahena to 10 years in prison on the arson charge and five years on the assault charge, suspended to 30 months. The sentences will run consecutively, according to the solicitor’s office.

Mora-Vahena set the woman’s home on fire in the early morning of Sept. 14, 2022, which destroyed the home. The woman and children were able to get out of the home, but a pet did not, according to the solicitor’s office.

“It takes a malicious, evil heart to set a home on fire where children are sleeping,” 8th Circuit Solicitor David Stumbo said in a news release.

Mora-Vahena was placed at the location at the time of the fire by phone records, and when confronted, he confessed, according to the solicitor’s office.

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