Mary Louise Wilson was sentenced to nearly 20 years in state prison on February 8. The 54-year-old admitted to setting fires at the two nursing homes she stayed at briefly during 2009.
According to state prosecutors, in January 2009, while a resident at El Dorado Care Center in El Cajon, Wilson shared a room with two other women who couldn't get in or out of bed without nursing help. While one of the women was sleeping, Wilson set fire to her bed. A smoke alarm alerted a nurse who used a fire extinguisher to put out the fire. No one was hurt.
Soon after being transferred to Golden Paradise Senior Living in National City in April, Wilson set fires in a trash chute, dumpster, and the library. The facility’s sprinkler system successfully put out those fires.
State investigators, working with authorities in National City and El Cajon, linked the fires to Wilson. She admitted to a host of charges on January 5, ranging from two counts of attempted murder to making a criminal threat with a deadly or dangerous weapon.
Wilson's sentence, 19 years and four months, is the longest prison term in an elder-abuse case prosecuted by the state attorney general's office, a spokesman said in a news release.