Evansville man gets 200 years for fire deaths of 3 people

October 27, 2015

A judge on Monday sentenced an Evansville man to 200 years in prison after a jury found him guilty but mentally ill on three counts of murder for starting a fire that killed his ex-girlfriend, her grandfather and her daughter.

Christopher Compton was sentenced Monday in the 2014 deaths of 28-year-old Keri Jones, 3-year-old Jazmine Jones, and 76-year-old Donald Lankford. Compton had dated Keri Jones for several years.

Vanderburgh Superior Court Judge Robert Pigman sentenced Compton to 60 years for the child's death and 55 years each for the other two deaths. Pigman also sentenced him to 30 years for being a habitual offender. Pigman ordered the sentences be served consecutively.

The fire in the building's entryway blocked the stairs that led to the second-story apartment. Three people — Jazmine Jones' twin sister, Sierah, and two other apartment residents — escaped by jumping from a window.

Testimony revealed that Compton suffered from multiple mental health and substance abuse problems. Because he was found guilty but mentally ill, Compton will be evaluated and recommended for treatment in prison.

Defense attorneys argued that Compton should have been found not guilty by reason of insanity.


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