DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – A man convicted in the death of a 56-year-old woman who was living without utilities in her Detroit childhood home has been sentenced to at least 37½ years in prison.

Torius Inge was convicted of second-degree murder in the May slaying of Gracie Hughes. WDIV-TV reports he maintained his innocence at Thursday’s hearing in a Detroit courtroom.

He said “I miss Gracie, too.”

Police said Hughes was stabbed dozens of times, was set on fire and had other injuries. Her body was discovered after the fire was extinguished in the dilapidated house, on Parker Street, near Van Dyke and Gratiot Ave.

Hughes’ nephew, Ricky Sail, told WWJ Newsradio 950 his aunt had fallen on hard times.

The Detroit News has reported the house hadn’t had water or electricity for years and was controlled by the Detroit Land Bank Authority, which owns thousands of vacant properties.

Hughes had refused the house where she’d lived most of her life, and a spokesman for the Land Bank explained evictions don’t occur unless there’s a buyer. The agency said the home was on a demolition list, but officials learned that someone was living inside.

TM and © Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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