Texas Woman Who Set Husband On Fire Sentenced To Prison

A Texas woman convicted of arson in the bathtub burning death of her husband is headed to prison.

Shryia Patel (Jail photo)

AUSTIN (March 11, 2014) Shriya Patel, 27, whom an Austin jury acquitted of capital murder in the bathtub burning death of her husband, but convicted instead of the lesser offense of arson, is headed to prison.

Jurors decided Tuesday on a 20-year sentence.

They started deliberations in the punishment phase late Monday afternoon.

She would have been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole if jurors had convicted her of capital murder.

Prosecutors weren’t seeking the death penalty.

The Travis County jury deliberated about 11 hours over two days before reaching the arson verdict Monday.

Prosecutors said the woman was unhappy with her arranged marriage and lured her husband to the bathtub, doused him with gasoline and set him afire.

The defense, however, argued that Bimal Patel wanted to kill himself and forced his wife to help.

Officers found the naked and severely burned man on the floor after responding to a family disturbance in April 2012.

Patel was the bathtub expecting a massage when he was doused with gasoline, which was ignited by candles burning nearby, authorities said.

He was trapped inside the bathroom and evidently had to kick the door down to escape, authorities

Patel was taken to the burn unit of Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio where he died in September 2012.

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