Woman Sentenced to 30 Years to Life in Prison in Connection With Killing Man, Setting West Covina House on Fire

A 42-year-old woman was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison in connection with stabbing an 82-year-old man to death and setting his house on fire in 2012, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office officials announced Wednesday.

Brenda Armstrong, of La Puente, pleaded no contest to first-degree murder and arson.

Armstrong was a waitress at a restaurant frequented by the victim, Ralph Simonian, officials said.

On Nov. 15, 2012, Simonian was found in his home in the 900 block of South Holiday Drive in West Covina with multiple stab wounds. His house was also set ablaze.

An investigation revealed that Simonian was killed by Armstrong during a burglary.

She had befriended him while Armstrong worked at J.B. Burgers in La Puente, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported.

A neighbor’s surveillance camera captured photos of a car Armstrong had borrowed to go to Simonian’s home, and cellphone data linked the suspect to the crime scene, according the Tribune.

Armstrong was arrested about two months after the crime, but prosecutors said they had insufficient evidence to charge her at the time, the Tribune reported.

Armstrong then moved to Delaware, where she was arrested in Sept. 2013, the newspaper reported.