Man who burned his son sentenced in gun case

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

A man who burned his son two decades ago to prevent his estranged wife from getting custody was sentenced Wednesday to 25 years to life in prison by a judge who called him the “kind of individual for whom the three-strikes law was passed.”

Charley Charles, 66, was re-sentenced in San Francisco Superior Court for possessing a gun after an appeals court said the judge erred in not applying the so-called three-strikes law to a pair of convictions in the fire that severely injured Charles’ son.

In 1983, Charles, then known as Charles Rothenberg, took his son to a Buena Park motel room and gave him a sleeping pill. He doused the room with kerosene and lighted it before leaving.


The boy survived, and Charles served seven years for attempted murder and arson.