Man set ex-girlfriend’s home on fire with sleeping children inside

A man in Newberry set his ex-girlfriend's home on fire with her kids sleeping inside.
Published: Apr. 12, 2023 at 11:58 AM EDT
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NEWBERRY, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - A Newberry man pleaded guilty to setting his ex-girlfriend’s house on fire with her, two children, and a pet inside.

The family, who was sleeping when the fire started, was able to make it out of the burning home but it was destroyed. A pet inside was also killed.

Investigators determined the fire was set in the early morning hours by 29-year-old Jorge Mora-Vahena. Phone records placed him there at the time of the fire and when officials confronted him about it, he confessed.

“It takes a malicious, evil heart to set a home on fire where children are sleeping,” said Solicitor David Stumbo.

Mora-Vahena pleaded guilty to arson and first-degree assault and battery. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison for arson and 5 years suspended to 30 months for the assault.

“I am pleased that Jorge Mora-Vahena will be behind bars for a long time, and we will continue to stand with our partners in law enforcement to fight this scourge of domestic violence in our communities,” Stumbo said.

The Newberry County Sheriff’s Office, Newberry Fire Department and Newberry Police Department investigated the case.