Closing arguments begin for woman accused of burning another woman to death in S.F.

Getty Images file photo | Clip art

The woman accused of burning a homeless woman to death in January 2007 committed the deed in order to protect her drug-dealing and loan-sharking operation from snitches, according to prosecutors.

Closing arguments in the monthlong trial of Mia Sagote, 36, began Thursday morning with two of victim Jill May's children in attendance. Assistant District Attorney Michael Swart described Sagote as a businesswoman who ruled by fear, adhered to a strict code of the streets and employed any means possible to avoid getting caught.

May's encounter with Sagote reportedly began Jan. 11, 2007, when Sagote attempted to collect money May, 49, and her longtime partner owed.

When Sagote and accomplice Leslie Siliga found May without enough money for repayment that morning, prosecutors said, they allegedly stripped off her clothes and stole the small amount of cash she was carrying.

Later, police reportedly found May naked and “dope-sick.” Officers filed a report of the robbery, which another of Sagote's associates discovered and relayed to Sagote later that night, prosecutors said.

The following morning, Sagote allegedly picked up Siliga in Daly City and headed for the Tenderloin. Her cellphone signal was picked up in the vicinity of the 500 block of Jones Street, where May was reportedly known to sleep and where she allegedly was seen in a car with Sagote and Siliga.

Prosecutors say the trio drove to Candlestick Park, stopping to buy a canister of gas.

At the stadium, Sagote allegedly drenched May in gasoline before setting her on fire.

Siliga, 37, already struck a deal with prosecutors, pleading guilty to both kidnapping and voluntary manslaughter. She is serving a sentence of more than 14 years in jail in exchange for cooperating with the prosecution.

According to prosecutors, Siliga has testified that until Sagote drove to the gas station, she thought it was going to be “just another strip job.”

Bay Area NewsCandlestick ParkCrimeCrime & CourtsMia SagoteSan Francisco prosecutors

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Bill to create state public bank could jumpstart SF efforts

California may move $10 billion of its investment banking funds to rebuild… Continue reading

State hires firefighters as wildfire season begins

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday outlined the steps California has taken to… Continue reading

Supes to vote on proposal to ease restrictions on gay bathhouses

Mandelman hopes to ‘make the operation of adult sex venues more feasible.’

Breed, Walton test negative for COVID-19 after exposure to the virus

Mayor London Breed announced Thursday she tested negative for COVID-19 after notified… Continue reading

‘No timetable’ for cable car return, SFMTA says

How the temporary absence of cable cars means more than just a loss of transit routes

Most Read