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La Puente woman pleads no contest to murder in death of man found in burning home

A La Puente woman pleaded no contest to killing an elderly man whose body was found in his burning West Covina home, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office. 

Brenda Armstrong, 41, entered her plea Thursday to one count of first-degree murder in the death of Ralph Simonian, 82, and to arson of an inhabited structure. 

Prosecutors said Armstrong was a waitress at a local restaurant that Simonian frequented. 

On Nov. 15, 2012, Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies found Simonian in his home, prosecutors said. His house had been set on fire and he had been stabbed multiple times, prosecutors said. Armstrong was arrested in September 2013 in Delaware, according to prosecutors. 

She is scheduled to return to court on Dec. 14 when she is expected to sentenced to 30 years to life in state prison. 

Contact the Homicide Report. Follow @jeromercampbell and @latimeshomicide on Twitter.

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