EL CAJON (CNS) - A woman who set fire to her Lakeside home last New Year's Day and tried to keep her 74-year-old mother from escaping the flames was sentenced Tuesday to eight years in state prison.
Neomi Lynn Rodriguez, 42, pleaded guilty last month to arson of an inhabited dwelling.
According to Deputy District Attorney C.J. Mody, the defendant was arrested two days prior to the Jan. 1 fire after she called the San Diego Sheriff's Department to say she was having hallucinations from being under the influence of methamphetamine. Rodriguez was released from custody 10 to 12 hours later, only for authorities to be called to the home again.
Kazuko Martinez was in bed when she got up and noticed her daughter's bedroom was on fire, Mody said. As she tried to leave, her daughter grabbed her and tried to push her into the burning bedroom, but she resisted and proceeded toward the front door, the prosecutor said.
Mody said the defendant then tackled her mother and said, "You're not getting out of here."
Rodriguez used a tablecloth to try to bind her mother to a dining room table, but the older woman was able to break free, the prosecutor said. Rodriguez also ripped the phone out of her mother's hand when she tried to call 911, according to Mody, who said neighbors heard the victim's screams and were able to get her away from the burning house.
The defendant tried to stop the neighbors from using garden hoses to put out the fire, the prosecutor said.
Both mother and daughter were treated for smoke inhalation.
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