VANCOUVER, WA (KPTV) – A Clark County man has been sentenced to more than three decades in prison after being convicted in the 2017 murder of a clerk before burning down the market where she worked.
Mitchell Heng, of Vancouver, was found guilty by a jury in September on charges of murder and arson in connection with the death of 47-year-old Amy Hooser.
According to court documents, Hooser was working the early morning shift at Sifton Market in January 2017 when Heng entered the store and attacked Hooser in the back minutes later.
Surveillance video showed Heng set fire to a coffee filter, prosecutors said. The flames then spread, destroying the market and multiple neighboring businesses.
Hooser was still inside the market as it burned, court documents said. An autopsy later found she died of blunt force trauma and smoke inhalation.
“I hope she was unconscious,” said Chris Campbell, Amy’s stepfather, during a victim impact statement given at Heng’s sentencing Friday afternoon.
Campbell was among more than a dozen of Hooser’s family members and friends that packed the courtroom. Heng also had supporters in attendance.
“I can’t have her back. Her family can’t,” said Andrea Thayer, a friend of Hooser.
The judge asked Heng if he wished to make a statement before receiving his sentence, but Heng chose to remain silent.
Heng’s defense attorney then argued for a lighter prison sentence, stating his client was only 21 years old and “immature” at the time.
However, the judge called Hooser’s death the “most heartless” murder he has reviewed on the bench to date.
The judge then sentenced Heng to more than 31 years in prison. He will receive credit for nearly 3 years that he’s already served.
Gretchen Edwards, Hooser’s mother, told FOX 12 she was pleased the judge gave Heng the maximum penalty.
Copyright 2019 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.