PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A Portland man who poured gasoline in the apartment of his ex-girlfriend and lit a fire that killed two sleeping men has been sentenced to life in prison.
Ryan Thomas Monaco killed 24-year-old Taher Alhaji and 42-year-old Jason Miller, who were roommates of Monaco’s on-and-off girlfriend. Monaco set the fire July 23, 2017, after an argument with his ex-girlfriend at the apartment near NE 98th Avenue and Glisan.
Alhaji and Miller died at the scene along with several pets.
Monaco was found guilty earlier this month of two counts of 2nd-degree murder, two counts of 1st-degree manslaughter, four counts of 1st-degree aggravated animal abuse and 4th-degree assault constituting domestic violence. The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office said three counts of 1st-degree arson were combined with the murder convictions.
Many victims attended the trial and shared impact statements with the court.
“Before the crime, I used to put my phone close to me before I went to bed. I used to wait for Taher’s call. I waited to hear him saying ‘hi Mum.’ Then, we talked about his collage, hopes and his dreams,” said Ahaji’s mother. “Mr. Monaco, when you killed my son, you burnt my heart. You took the joy out of my life.”
“My brother was my constant. He was there for my graduations, my wedding, my daughters’ birthdays, holidays, the death of my mother and then one day he just wasn’t,” said Miller’s sister. “Jason is now a memory. He is a collection of pictures, stories, and feelings by the people who are left to live this life without him.”
Monaco was sentenced to life in prison with 38 years minimum confinement.