On the evening of Paula Morgan’s death the jilted boyfriend became enraged after the 25 year old woman left her birthday party to go with another man on July 12, 2012.
After a series of heated text messages the jilted boyfriend returned to Morgan’s home at 3 am where he stuffed a piece of paper into the gas intake tube of her car which was parked in the driveway before setting it on fire.
As Mandoline fled the fire quickly spread to the garage and to the rest of the house where the woman would end up dying of smoke inhalation.
Firefighters would tell finding Morgan’s body on a stair landing.
Surviving the arson attack would be Morgan’s six year old son and the man she had left her birthday party with, Jason Cassidy, 25.
Cops would eventually arrest Todd Mandoline, charging him with first degree murder and arson.
Leading into the trial, Assistant State’s Attorney David Bayer asked for a sentence in the 90-year range, saying that Mandoline acted in rage.
Told presiding Judge John Kinsela who acknowledged that the jilted boyfriend had never intended to hurt Morgan: ‘It was a completely stupid, moronic decision to set fire to Paula Morgan’s car,’
Adding: ’To say there were tragic consequences, it’s an inadequate phrase.’
The judge would hand Mandoline 27 years for the first degree murder of Morgan and an additional 12 year for arson.