A Washington, North Carolina man pleaded guilty in court Friday to killing his mother and torching her home to cover up the crime. The District Attorney's Office says Herbert Heath Jr. set the fire that burned down his mother's home after killing her. Herbert Heath Jr. pleaded guilty Friday and was sentenced to 29 to 37 years in prison.
Fire responders first came to their mobile home on Cherry Run Road on August 16, 2014 to discover the home was ablaze. Mildred Heath, 66, was found face down amid the fiery home. An autopsy showed she had extensive burns on her back, injuries consistent with strangulation and six broken ribs, according to Brad Shackelford a lead investigator with the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office. The absence of any soot in her lungs proved she died before the fire started.
Heath is 41-years-old with prior convictions for assault, assault on a female and two DWI's. Heath's brother, Troy, asked the judge to impose the maximum penalty allowed saying, "There will be no more apple pies on Sunday, or even a phone call to say I love you."
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