Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
Sandra Yi ReportingThe man who was convicted of starting a fire that killed a six-year old girl learned his fate today. Mark Anthony Ott will spend the rest of his life in prison without parole.
It's been an emotional and exhausting week for the young victim's family. They're pleased with the jury's sentence. They say they can now begin moving on, but they'll have to deal with Lacey's loss for the rest of their lives.
Terri Cook: "I'm ready to go home and go to bed. Relieved. Relieved."
Terri Cook and Allen Lawrence have some peace of mind.
Allen Lawrence, Lacey's Father: "It gives us some comfort to know this guy is not out and about to do this kind of a thing to anyone else ever again."
Mark Anthony Ott will spend the rest of his life in prison for the death of six-year old Lacey Lawrence. A jury today decided on the life sentence without parole. A plea deal spared Ott the death penalty, but he had asked the jury to consider a sentence with parole. It's justice, for the young victim's family.
Allen Lawrence: "We loved her and we cherished her. She was our daughter and she was our friend and our life. She was a gift from God to both of us. We'll miss her forever."
Lacey was killed two years ago, just 15 days before her seventh birthday. She died in a fire Ott started in his ex-wife's home. Ott also stabbed Allen Lawrence and his 17-year old stepdaughter.
In court Lawrence carried Lacey's favorite toy in his pocket. It was found on a bed next to her body.
Allen Lawrence: "You can see her outline of her body from the smoke and this lamb was there in the picture and it was recovered. Still smells like smoke and all."
He says Lacey loved lambs. They decorate her gravesite. Lawrence says the animal stands for innocence, just like his little girl.
Allen Lawrence: "She was an innocent child. She was innocent of everything, like she was sacrificed for someone's evil deed that we don't understand."
In court today Ott said the sentence was 'a hard pill to swallow', and he said he's 'going to push on'. He will be back in court on April 19, when he will be sentenced for the arson, assault and attempted murder charges.