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17-year-old sentenced over 30 years in prison for murdering mother and committing arson

A Pittsylvania County judge sentenced 17-year-old Jacob Tharpe guilty of first-degree murder and arson in the death of his mother Bernadette Nesbitt.

PITTSYLVANIA Co., Va. (WSET) -- A teenager in Pittsylvania County will spend more than 30 years in prison for killing his mother.

Monday morning, a Pittsylvania County judge sentenced 17-year-old Jacob Tharpe guilty of first-degree murder and arson in the death of his mother Bernadette Nesbitt.

Nesbitt was found dead in her home in Dry Fork a few days before Christmas 2016.

The judge on Monday decided Tharpe will serve 31 years and four months in the Department of Corrections.

Upon release he will be on 10 years of probation and good behavior.

His family and lawyer at the sentencing hearing asked the judge to let Tharpe serve time in the Department of Juvenile Justice until he was 21, but the judge denied that request.

Tharpe's first-degree murder charge could have sent him to jail for 45 years alone, but the arson charge could have added another six years. The judge decided to lower his sentence.

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