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A Pennsylvania Man Burned His Wife to Death. Then, He Tied Himself Up and Said Intruders Were Responsible.

pennsylvania man burned his wife to death blamed on intruders
Source: Lancaster County District Attorney's Office; Unsplash

Jun. 25 2023, Published 9:44 a.m. ET

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A Pennsylvania man was sentenced to life in prison after killing his wife and then setting his family’s home on fire and trying to blame it on intruders back in 2010, according to authorities.

Carlos Montalvo-Rivera, 55, was previously convicted of first-degree murder, arson, risking catastrophe and three counts of attempted criminal homicide.

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On June 21, Lancaster County Judge Dennis Reinaker sentenced Montalvo-Rivera to the mandatory life imprisonment for first-degree murder plus 20 to 40 years. Reinaker said he also owes $116,975.28 in restitution.

According to Montalvo-Rivera, he claimed intruders broke into his home, killed his wife, Olga Sanchez, and then set fire to the home in retaliation for the victim’s brother, who had cooperated with the DEA in an unrelated case.


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Prosecutors argued, and the jury agreed, that Mondalvo-Rivera killed his wife, poured gasoline up the steps and into her bedroom and then set the house on fire while their three children were on the third floor. He then snuck out a door on the first floor, tied himself up and attempted to create a story to cover his tracks.

During his sentencing, Reinaker said, "The lame story you concocted and continued to hold on to simply didn't hold any water. The jury didn't believe you, and I think that's how it should be," WGAL reported.


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