Father Sentenced for Arson Deaths of Three Children

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Colorado Springs, Colo. (AP) The father of three Colorado Springs children killed in a 2003 house fire is being ordered to serve three consecutive life terms in prison, without the possibility of parole.

A district judge handed down the sentence Thursday to 36-year-old Timothy Nicholls for starting the arson fire that killed three-year-old Sierra and five-year-old Sophia, and his eleven-year-old stepson, Jay.

Thursday would have been Sierra's eighth birthday.

Fourth Judicial District Judge David Miller also sentenced Nicholls to 81 years on child abuse, arson and other charges.

Prosecutors say Nicholls started the blaze to collect insurance money to pay off drug debts.

Nicholls' wife, Deborah, was not charged in the death of the children.

She is expected to stand trial, though, for allegedly filing a fraudulent insurance claim, and possessing drugs.