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Monday, October 21, 2019

The Gina Virgilio Arson-Murder Case

     In 2007, the parents of 20-year-old Gina Virgilio noticed that she had become mentally unstable. Their daughter was also addicted to Oxytocin and cocaine. In early 2012, Virgilio was still on drugs and mentally ill. She had taken to injecting methamphetamine, and disappearing for weeks at a time on drug binges. She and her infant son resided in an Anchorage, Alaska apartment with her boyfriend, Michael Gonzales. Because she was too psychotic and drug addled to care for her son, a child service agency placed the infant with another family.

     On June 8, 2012, Virgilio's boyfriend, Michael Gonzales, fell asleep on his sofa after celebrating his 24th birthday. That night, Gina left their apartment carrying an empty gas can. She walked a quarter of a mile to a service station where an attendant filled the container with five dollars worth of gasoline.

     Upon returning to the Anchorage apartment, Virgilio splashed gasoline on the sofa around her sleeping boyfriend and on the carpet beneath his feet. She poured a gasoline trail to the apartment's only door, and standing in the hallway, put a match to the accelerant and watched the flames shoot across the carpet and engulf the sofa and Michael Gonzales.

     Surrounded in flames, Michael Gonzales leaped to his feet and shouted "Hot Hot!" As her boyfriend collapsed to the floor and died in flames, Gina Virgilio shut the door and walked away.

     That evening, when questioned by a detective at a local hospital where Virgilio was being treated for minor burns, she told the officer that Michael Gonzales had set the apartment fire. Shortly thereafter, she admitted to her mother that she had set the fire that killed her boyfriend. When questioned again by the police, she confessed.

     Not mentally competent to stand trial, Gina Virgilio spent the next six years in custody receiving psychiatric care. In April 2019, her attorney arranged to have her plead guilty to first-degree murder.

     On October 14, 2019, in addressing the court at her sentencing hearing, the 32-year-old Virgilio said that mental illness had driven her to kill Michael Gonzales. She said she had no idea why she had set him on fire. "I hate me for what I did," she said. "I can never bring him back. You can't make sense out of a mind that makes no sense."

     Anchorage Superior Court Judge Michael Wolverton sentenced Gina Virgilio to 60 years in prison.

     

1 comment:

  1. Mr. Fisher... Could you possibly mean Oxycontin and not Oxytocin? Oxycontin is quite addictive, but Oxytocin is a hormone.

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