Georgia man gets life in prison after admitting he set car on fire, killing 2

Derrick Hobbs was sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to two murder charges.

Credit: Georgia Department of Corrections

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Derrick Hobbs was sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to two murder charges.

Credit: Georgia Department of Corrections

A man who killed two people, including his 4-year-old niece, when he set a car on fire pleaded guilty to the crimes and was sentenced to life in prison.

Derrick Lashun Hobbs pleaded guilty earlier this month in a Douglas County courtroom. On Tuesday, Hobbs was booked into the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification State Prison in Jackson, according to the state Department of Corrections.

ExploreMan charged with murder after woman, 4-year-old girl found dead in burning car

In June 2020, Douglasville officers found the vehicle “fully engulfed in flames” behind a home on Colquitt Street, police previously said. When the blaze was extinguished, officers found the bodies of Lawanda Barrows, 59, and Layla Hobbs, 4.

Derrick Hobbs was identified as the suspect and arrested later the same evening, according to police.

According to a GoFundMe page, Layla was Hobbs’ niece.

“... she was trapped in a car seat with her 5-year-old brother in a vehicle that was set on fire by her uncle,” a family member wrote on the fundraising site. “Her brother was able to escape but Layla didn’t make it and passed away in the accident.”

Barrows was Hobbs’ mother, according to reports. In addition to the murder charges, he also pleaded guilty to a first-degree arson charge.