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Man Who Set Son on Fire in 1980s Sentenced on Weapons Charge

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NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-29-05 05:00 PM
Original message
Man Who Set Son on Fire in 1980s Sentenced on Weapons Charge
http://ap.tbo.com/ap/breaking/MGB63NSW48E.html

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A man who served only 6 years for setting his son on fire two decades ago was sentenced to seven years on weapons charges Friday, a day after a judge blocked efforts to put him away for life under California's three-strikes law.


Judge Cynthia Lee ordered Charley Charles to serve consecutive terms on his February conviction of being a felon possessing a handgun and possession of ammunition, saying she was unconvinced by Charles' argument that he needed the weapon to protect himself from vigilantes bent on retaliation for the crime against the boy.

Charles was known as Charles Rothenberg when he burned his 6-year-old son in 1983, leading to his conviction on felony counts of attempted murder and arson. His light sentence drew outrage and helped pave the way for sentencing guidelines.

San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris had tried to get a mandatory life sentence for Charles by charging him under the 1994 three-strikes law, but Lee said Thursday that Harris could not count the arson charge as a prior strike.

more

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CBGLuthier Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-29-05 05:06 PM
Response to Original message
1. monsters among us
Edited on Fri Apr-29-05 05:07 PM by notmypresident
I still remember when that miserable excuse for a human being did that to his son.

6 years???? 6 years was not justice for what he did.

They should have made him sit in a room looking at pictures of the boy every day for about 20 years. That would have been justice.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-29-05 06:47 PM
Response to Reply #1
8. It makes one absolutely heartsick.
Here's a quick look at the guy for DU'ers who didn't hear it the first time around:blockquote]http://www.mistersf.com/notorious/index.html?notcharles...


Charley Charles


God help the truly helpless among us. There are many.
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renaissanceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-29-05 11:54 PM
Response to Reply #1
14. I would've set him on fire.
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MuseRider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-29-05 05:11 PM
Response to Original message
2. 6 years?
6 YEARS???

And they are surprised he broke the law again? 6 years for burning his son? Where is the fall over in a dead, disgusted faint smilie when you need it?
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sasquatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-29-05 05:16 PM
Response to Original message
3. Aren't there people doing 20 years in Prison for selling pot?
This rat faced, pig fucker only did six years in prison.
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-29-05 05:19 PM
Response to Original message
4. So, who still thinks we have lax gun laws here?
Maybe lax setting your son on fire laws.

:shrug:
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girl gone mad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-29-05 05:36 PM
Response to Original message
5. The boy suffered burns over 90% of his body.
He only lived because a neighbor rescued him.

It's hard for me to grasp the distinction between murder and attempted murder in a case like this. The boy suffered terribly.
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-29-05 06:29 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. yes
I remember reading he had told a therapist he would not want children because "they would look like him" (the therapist assured him his kids would not be born with burn scars). He was horribly burned. I hope he was able to make a good life for himself although really I don't know how someone could really ever overcome something like that.
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GoddessOfGuinness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-29-05 11:19 PM
Response to Reply #5
11. The burns had to be minor
compared to that poor child's broken heart. To be treated that way by his own father... :cry:
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davidinalameda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-29-05 05:37 PM
Response to Original message
6. maybe prison will take care of him
I won't mind to see this SOB getting carried out feet first

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dback Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-29-05 07:08 PM
Response to Original message
9. WHY IS THIS MAN WALKING THE STREETS?!?!??!!
I am a bleeding heart liberal on so many issues, but I swear to God, issues like this make me rabid with rage.

I do not support the death penalty. But if you commit a violent crime resulting in death or severe injury--especially one as heinous as this man's was against his son--WHY THE HELL ARE YOU OUT OF PRISON? He should never have been released in the first place; he should've gotten life.

How many people do we have in the prison system who were busted on non-violent, non-felony drug possession charges? Yet we can't seem to keep violent criminals--non-rehabilitative, violent criminals--locked up.

I'm stumped on this issue. It doesn't seem to be a left-right thing, just a complete abandonment of all common sense.
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MountainLaurel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-30-05 10:18 AM
Response to Reply #9
18. Crimes against family
Are often considered lesser in the eyes of the law, and in jurors' minds. For instance, it's a fairly recent development that one could be charged for raping a spouse; the idea was that sex is a responsibility of the marriage vows, and so you really can't say no. You hit your wife with a brick, and it's a misdemeanor domestic assault; do it to a stranger at the local bar, and it's felony assault. Rape your 7-year-old son, and it's "molestation," not rape.
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Maat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-29-05 11:14 PM
Response to Original message
10. I wonder how David is doing now.
Can anyone find a link?
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-29-05 11:25 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. Here's the only thing I could find in the few minutes available right now
The father's son, who told prosecutors he never wanted to see his father again, changed his name to David Jordan Robinson in 1990 after professional basketball stars Michael Jordan and David Robinson befriended him.
http://www.montereyherald.com/mld/montereyherald/news/1...

I'll look some more overnight. I hope he's been helped, somehow, in the time after his injuries, too.
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Maat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-29-05 11:28 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Thanks.
I'm praying things have gone well for him.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-30-05 03:36 AM
Response to Reply #13
17. Here's a small reference to the child and his mother....
The reference begins in the second paragraph:
http://www.maesakharov.com/childAbuse.htm

There's a movie released in 1988, based on a book by the mother, Marie Rothenberg: David

http://www.rotteneggs.com/r/show/se/399006.html
David

1988 - USA - Docudrama

Type: Features
Rating: NR
Running Time: 96 minutes
Starring: Bernadette Peters
Directed by: John Erman

PLOT DESCRIPTION
In this above-average made-for-television drama, Bernadette Peters stars as a mother facing the greatest challenge of her life. Based a true story, Matthew Lawrence stars as David Rothenberg, a six year-old who was viciously set on fire by his jealous father. Severely burned and disfigured, David courageously clung to life despite the odds against him. Determined to see her son through the ordeal, the film shows how his mother Marie (Peters) tirelessly worked to help nurse him back to life. ~ Bernadette McCallion, All Movie Guide
(snip)
http://movies2.nytimes.com/gst/movies/movie.html?v_id=1...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Book info.:
David
ROTHENBERG, MARIE and, WHITE, MEL

Carmel, NY: Guideposts, 1985. Guideposts edition published by special arrangement with Fleming H. Revell Company.192 pages, 4 plates, cloth, dj, very good. From the publisher: When David Rothenberg, a second-grader from Brooklyn, NY, visited Disneyland in December 1983, he was given a red-carpet welcome normally reserved for kings and presidents. Thousands lined the streets of the Magic Kingdom to cheer the child who had won a place in their hearts. Here is the story of the little boy whose courageous fight for life captured the attention of nearly every television and radio station, newspaper and magazine in the nation. Late in February 1983, for reasons still unclear, David's father kidnapped his son and took him to California, promising him a Disney vacation. There on March 3, 183, his father emptied a container of kerosene throughout the motel room where David was sleeping, ignited it, and drove away. Moments later, the room burst into flames, engulfing David and inflicting third-degree burns over ninety percent of his body. Although he was given a less than five percent chance of living, David beat the odds. David's strong will to survive and the help of policemen and firemen, doctors and nurses, celebrities and ordinary folk turned madness into miracle. In David, Marie Rothenberg tells her son's touching story from a mother's own perspective.. ISBN: 0800712269. Hard Cover. Very Good/Very Good. DAVID ROTHENBERG HANDICAPPED CHILDREN BIOGRAPHY.

Offered by Military History Bookshop (Maine, United States)
http://illiad.biblio.com/browse_books/title/d/3691.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Looks like the book can be purchased from Amazon now, used, from $.77, to $3.95.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/offer-listing/08007122...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


A tv report on David was offered by a truly obnoxious Rupert Murdoch reporter, Steve Dunleavy. There's a quick look at it around 4/5ths down the page here:
The story is that of the Comeback Kid, the tragic tale of David Rothenberg, a 13-year-old boy set aflame by his father when he was 6. The story is years old but has never been told Dunleavy-style: close-ups of the boys face, still mangled and masked after more than fifty operations. Tearful interview with the aggrieved mother. Tough jailhouse confrontation with the father.

First, Dunleavy builds sympathy for the boy. If guts were made of gold, David would be a billionaire, Dunleavy says.

Then the Fox trademark: the inevitable reenactment, in shadowy black and white, suffused with creepy music. Dunleavy splashes onto the screen, in double-breasted pinstripes, touched up with bright-red tie and snazzy pocket square.

A Dunleavy report has no patience for the detached tone of the observer. He jumps right in as the voice of the masses. The father says he wanted to give David everything. Dunleavy: Charles Rothenberg gave his son everything, all right - everything that pain, suffering and a life sentence in a body mutilated beyond description could provide.

Now the two men face off in the prison visiting room. Rothenberg is to be freed soon and Dunleavy is incredulous. Truth is, he tells the father, people out there right now think you are the biggest son of a bitch on two legs.

Rothenberg bursts into tears, squeaking pathetically. The TV picture fades to a slow-motion close-up of Davids scarred face.
(snip)
http://www.tabloidbaby.com/Book/Companion/king.htm

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


It would appear that as they got more focused on trying to get the child healthier, they may have stepped far out of the public eye. I'm not coming up with much, I'm afraid, but I'm not an ace researcher, either. There may be a lot in there I'm just not seeing. I hope his two angel supporters, Michael Jordan and David Robinson, have contacted him from time to time as he has tried to find a way back to life. I think the power of their great strength and accomplishments due to hard, hard work would be an inspiration to him, hopefully, in meeting his new trials.

More recent photo of the monstrosity who hurt his son so savagely:
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Maat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-30-05 03:01 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. Thanks.
My daughter may confront her birthmom one day (who knows - she may not be alive by then).

My daughter was burned with a cigarette.
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Mizmoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-30-05 12:01 AM
Response to Original message
15. I remember this crime
Edited on Sat Apr-30-05 12:01 AM by Mizmoon
What a vile, repulsive excuse for a human being. He deserved something more like 30 years to life for his crime, imo.
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shanti Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-30-05 01:00 AM
Response to Original message
16. omg, i remember him
when i live in the o.c. it was very very sad :-(
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