Man Sentenced For Setting Ohio Fire That Killed 3

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- A man convicted of setting a fire that killed his estranged wife and two of her children was sentenced to a prison term of 55 years to life.

Timothy Woogerd, 45, was convicted earlier this month of the murders of his wife, Robin, 41, his son, Thomas, 21 months, and his stepdaughter, Natalie Adair, 12.

Investigators said Woogerd poured gasoline near a back door and on a wooden deck and set his wife's home on fire after leaving the residence on Dec. 8, 2003.

Woogerd testified that he built a fire in the fireplace with Robin Woogerd and they drank beer together, despite a protection order she filed against him during their divorce proceedings. He said he left hours later with the family in bed and the fire smoldering.

``They all sleep with their doors closed,'' Woogerd said at the sentencing Wednesday. ``I don't understand why she opened the door and went toward the hall when there are two windows in the bedroom. I don't know why she didn't take that route'' to leave the residence.

He told Robin Woogerd's family that he started a fire in the fireplace but didn't spill any gasoline.

Ricky Cherup, Robin Woogerd's brother, said he is glad Judge Alan C. Travis handed down the verdict he did in Franklin County Common Pleas Court.

Defense attorneys Tom Beal and Kirk McVay said prosecutors failed to prove the arson. Their expert said the fire could have been set by a burning ember in the fireplace.