Battle Creek — A 25-year-old man who intentionally set a house fire that killed an 8-year-old Battle Creek girl has been sentenced in her death.
The Battle Creek Enquirer reports that Calhoun County Circuit Court Judge Conrad Sindt sentenced Jesse Tatum Monday to 39 years to 80 years in prison.
Tatum was charged with second-degree murder in Karrina Johnson’s November 2012 slaying.
Tatum earlier had told the court that he poured gas on a couch on porch and set it ablaze. He said he didn’t think children were at home after knocking on the door.
Karrina died at a hospital after a firefighter pulled her from the burning home. Two of her siblings escaped by jumping from a second-floor window.
Officials say the fire followed an argument between Tatum and Karrina’s mother.