A woman who set fire to her Lakeside home last New Year's Day and tried to keep her 74-year-old mother from getting out is scheduled to be sentenced today at the courthouse in El Cajon.
Neomi Lynn Rodriguez, 42, pleaded guilty last month to arson of an inhabited dwelling. She is expected to be sentenced to eight years in prison.
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.
Mody said the victim -- identified as Kazuko Martinez -- was in bed when she got up and noticed her daughter's bedroom was on fire.
As the mother tried to leave, her daughter grabbed her and tried to push her into the burning bedroom, but she was able to resist and proceeded toward the front door, the prosecutor said.
Mody said that the defendant 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.
-- City News Service