HOUSTON -

A verdict was reached Friday in the trial of a man accused of killing the mother of his children.

Jason Bouchard was found guilty of capital murder. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Prosecutors said Bouchard set fire to Terri Sanvincente’s home on Christmas Eve 2009. While the home was burning, Bouchard beat Sanvicente to death with a crowbar, prosecutors said.

Sanvincente was the mother of Bouchard’s three children, who were under the age of 10 at the time of the incident. They were in the house the night of the killing, investigators said.

Bouchard defended himself in court after he fired his court-appointed attorney last week.

"I feel I deserve forgiveness," he told the court Friday. "I was honest; I was forthright with you," he said.

Bouchard's defense was that he was protecting his children from their mother.

"If they did the right thing she would of been in jail. My daughter says she was being raped," Bouchard told the jury.

Bouchard admitted to starting the fire at the back of the home.

"I was going to bust a window out and throw a couple cocktails in there, but I didn't know if there were children in there and I didn't want them to get hurt," Bouchard said.

He also admitted to the jury that he used a crowbar to hit Sanvincente three times, beating her to death.

"I decided on the crowbar because my children needed me," Bouchard said in court.

At one point he joked, "I priced checked. . . went to Target and Walmart was cheaper."

Sanvincente’s family said she was a loving and caring mother and didn’t deserve what happened to her.

"She was really a kind person she was good with her kids, she was good with her friends, ... animals," said family friend, Michelle Wilson.

One juror, Martin Pounders, said he would have given Bouchard a harsher sentence if that was an option.

"I think I could have given him the death penalty," said Pounders.