Photo: LATINO BLOTTER: At Least 33 Years for Wife Who Lit Husband, Home on Fire
Finding out your husband is cheating on you can being both hurtful and infuriating, but what one wife did was unthinkable.
After a two week trial, Georgina Pontes Furtado Vilela, 47, was convicted of arson with intent to endanger life and murder for setting fire to the family home in March 2011.
Vilela’s husband, Carlos Viela, and four of his daughters were sleeping in their home when the wife, angry that her husband fathered a child with another woman, covered him in gasoline and lit him on fire while he slept.
The angry wife, who in HIV positive, had reportedly suffered from depression and felt like an “incomplete woman” because she was unable to have children with Viela.
After setting fire to her husband, Viela went outside and watched as the rest of the house went up in flames. She knew four of her step-daughters were in the home.
In the end, the husband was dead and the four girls were sent to the hospital. The youngest, who was 13 at the time, was rescued by neighbors as she climbed onto the porch. Josefina, then 14, suffered burns on 60 percent of her body and had to be rescued by fire workers. She wound up having both her legs amputated at the knee as well as an arm and remains in the hospital. She is now 15. Her 17-year-old sister suffered a broken leg and pelvis after jumping from a window. The oldest sister, 21-year-old Helena, was treated for smoke inhalation and cuts and bruises. These girls’ other two siblings were not in the home at the time.
Viela was reportedly angry after finding out her husband had cheated on her and proceeded with what the jury considered to be a premeditated act. Viela reportedly bought the gasoline a few days prior to setting the fire and even had conversations with the daughters about wanting to appear in the newspapers or on TV.
She is now facing a minimum of 23 years for murder to be served concurrently with the 10 years she was given for arson with intent to endanger life.
Carlos Viela’s family has stated they have forgiven Georgina and say they are looking forward to moving on with their lives.