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

Playgrounds set to reopen in October

For the first time since March, San Francisco’s outdoor playgrounds will reopen… Continue reading

Limited indoor dining, church services to begin in SF

San Francisco will move ahead Wednesday with indoor dining and church services… Continue reading

Program busing homeless out of SF sees sharp decline

City to reopen in-person Homeward Bound office to boost participation

New law makes sustainable transit easier, faster and cheaper to implement

SB 288 will add a number of climate-friendly infrastructure projects to CEQA exemption list

Nearly 50,000 facing evacuations as fires besiege California wine country

By Luke Money, Anita Chabria, Rong-Gong Lin II and Hayley Smith Los… Continue reading

Most Read