October 24, 2014
A man has been sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole for setting another man on fire two years ago.
Greg Lee Cooper, 45, of Fillmore, was convicted in May of aggravated mayhem in disfiguring someone permanently and starting a fire that caused bodily harm.
Cooper will be eligible for parole in seven years.
Cooper, who was sentenced Wednesday, assaulted Andy Chavez over the sale of 50 acres of farmland.
Prosecutors said Cooper was upset that Chavez had purchased the property, which was part of 120 acres owned by Cooper's father and another man.
Cooper set the victim on fire in June 2005 by lighting the propellants of a spray can and using it as a torch to burn Chavez's face, hands and his upper body.
"I am angry and upset. I still don't know why he did this to me," prosecutor Rebecca Day read from Chavez's statement at Cooper's sentencing.
"He has an anger issue, and that's what put him where he is."
Cooper's attorneys said they plan to appeal the conviction.