Man gets 50 years to life in prison for setting woman on fire in Albany
A man accused of setting a woman on fire was sentenced Tuesday to 50 years to life in prison.
Houston Ketter III, 41, was found guilty after a trial in October.
The incident happened in the area of Bradford and Robert streets in Albany.
The victim, Kari Rouse, told the court about the experience.
“What a feeling to be instantaneously on fire and screaming for someone, anyone to solve it,” she said.
She thanked the quick response of a police officer for saving her life.
She said she woke up in the burn unit two months after the attack. She has third-degree burns over 30% of her body and has a permanent trach installed in her throat.
She said her son’s first birthday was spent crawling around in her hospital room.
“I went seven months without being able to speak – carrying around a marker board to communicate while teaching my son how to talk. Never once did I feel like a failure as I played recordings while feeding him,” she said.
She said she could go on about the trauma that Ketter caused her, “but that would be giving a narcissist satisfaction.”
The victim said she is glad Ketter will be locked up.
“Houston is a tyrant and would not have stopped. Now, he is his own enemy, and he can no longer blame the innocent,” she said.
Assistant District Attorney Jessica Blain-Lewis called his actions “heinous” and said she does not know what is left to be said.
“He set a woman on fire and left her to die,” she said.
He pressed a hot pot warmed up on a stove against the second victim.
Ketter declined to speak. His attorney said he would be appealing.
Albany County Court Judge Andra Ackerman said it is “overwhelming” the level of evil Ketter carried out.
“As a judge, I know that the best and only thing I can do in this case to ensure justice for both of these victims, and for society, our community as a whole, to hold you accountable for what you have done and have you remain out of the community for as long as the court allows,” she said.