updated 2/18/2006 1:42:33 AM ET 2006-02-18T06:42:33

A former bricklayer who faced the death penalty for torching and killing a cab driver was sentenced Friday to life in prison without parole.

James Scholl, 34, was convicted of murder, arson and attempted robbery in the 2004 killing of Pairoj Chitprasart, co-owner of a Thai newspaper in Las Vegas.

Scholl’s lawyers, David Schieck and Alzora Jackson, said they intend to appeal the verdict and sentence.

Scholl doused Chitprasart, 51, with gasoline from a soft drink bottle and set him ablaze when the cabdriver refused to give him money, prosecutors said. Chitprasart died four days later.

The slaying sparked debate about cabdriver safety and prompted the state to require surveillance cameras in Las Vegas taxis.

The same jury earlier found Scholl guilty in the beating and robbery of another Las Vegas cab driver eight days before the attack on Chitprasart. Scholl is due for sentencing March 27 in that case.

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