A 24-year-old New York City woman was sentenced to 14 years in prison following her guilty plea in the 2011 slaying of a Pomona man, the Rockland County district attorney announced Thursday.
Jody-Ann Hemmings, of Harlem, was convicted on charges of first-degree manslaughter and second-degree arson for killing Jason Ognenoff, 37, on Aug. 18 last year.
"My grief lies very, very deep but I do forgive," Ognenoff's sister, Nicole Owens, said at the Rockland County Courthouse Thursday, according to News12. "I hope that she has learned from this huge mistake that is going to cost her freedom."
While responding to a fire, volunteer firefighters from Hillcrest found Ognenoff dead in his living room at a building on Charles Lane.
Investigators found that Hemmings had struck him with a figurine, then repeatedly stabbed him in the chest with a steak knife, officials said. Hemmings torched the home to cover up the evidence and fled. She was on the loose for six days before she was taken into custody near her home by police detectives from the Town of Haverstraw.
Hemmings and her attorneys claimed she was a victim of childhood sexual abuse and had a violent outburst when Ognenoff allegedly made sexual advances toward her, according to News12.
Earlier this year, clinical and forensic psychologists examined Hemmings and found she was suffering from extreme emotional disturbance, which led to the killing, according to a release from Zugibe's office.
Hemmings will also be subject to five years of post-release supervision after serving her time behind bars.
"This defendant has been convicted and now punished for the particularly senseless and disturbing killing of a well-liked and hardworking man," Zugibe said in a statement.
In court, Hemmings apologized to the victim's family and said she understands why the Ognenoff family would consider her a monster, News12 reported.
"It's devastating to all of us and her family but the most I can do is pray for her," Owens said.