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Rodgers Sentenced for Lye Attack - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Rodgers Sentenced for Lye Attack

Herbert Rodgers Herbert Rodgers
Carmen Tarleton Carmen Tarleton

Chelsea, Vermont - February 11, 2009

Herbert Rodgers, 53, seemed resigned to the sentence imposed by the judge in Chelsea District Court Wednesday.

"I remand you to the Department of Corrections for a period not less than 30 years and not more than 70 years for the crime of maiming," Judge Mary Miles Teachout pronounced.

According to police, Rodgers brutally attacked his estranged wife Carmen Tarleton in her Thetford home in June 2007. Police say Rodgers broke into the home in the middle of the night with a baseball bat, duct tape and a spray bottle of the chemical lye. They say he proceeded to beat Tarleton and spray her with the caustic chemical. It burned over 90 percent of her body. She was left with broken bones and her appearance was changed forever.

"I have pain every day... physical pain every day... and emotional as well, which goes without saying," Tarleton testified during the sentencing hearing.

Under an agreement reached with the state, Rodgers was only charged with one count of maiming. But he is required to serve at least the minimum of 30 years. That means he won't be eligible for parole until he's 83.

Tarleton was flanked by her two daughters at the sentencing hearing. The girls were in the home when the attack took place. Rodgers addressed both Tarleton's daughters and Tarleton herself before being sentenced.

"When I kicked in the door and as I hit one of you-- I'm sorry, that was not my intention. I would never hurt either of you," Rodgers said to the girls. "Carmen, you didn't deserve it."

The sentencing brings to an end one of the most brutal cases police say they've ever seen.

Tarleton told reporters it brings closure for her and her family.

"It helps me in that I don't have to think about or worry about or be concerned where he is or where he's gonna be," Tarleton said. "It's over and that way where I can start looking forward to other projects and other things to do and get on with my life."

Maiming carries with it a possible sentence of life but it also requires an appeal process to take place. Rodgers told his lawyer he did not want to go through that appeals process and that is one of the reasons why the 30-to-70 year sentence was agreed on.

Carmen Tarleton still has a long road to recovery. She has already endured more than 40 surgeries since the attack and she will have more in her future. But it's obvious that she is a strong person and hopefully the sentencing will help in that healing process.

Adam Sullivan - WCAX News

Related Stories:

Lye Attack Survivor Battles Back

Carmen's Road to Recovery

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