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Archive for Monday, June 18, 2007

Rose sentenced to 122 months for Boardwalk Fire

Jason Rose sits in court Monday morning at the Douglas County Law Enforcement Center.  Rose was sentenced to 122 months in prison.

Jason Rose sits in court Monday morning at the Douglas County Law Enforcement Center. Rose was sentenced to 122 months in prison.

June 18, 2007, 11:25 a.m. Updated June 18, 2007, 1:31 p.m.

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Rose sentencing: DA Charles Branson

Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson talks about the sentence given to Jason Allen Rose Monday morning. Enlarge video

Rose sentencing: Nancy Bingham, mother of Nicole Bingham

Nancy Bingham, mother of Nicole Bingham who was killed in the Boardwalk Apartments fire, reacts to the sentencing of Jason Allen Rose. Enlarge video

Jason Allen Rose was sentenced Monday to 122 months in prison, the maximum sentence he could have received for setting the Boardwalk Apartments fire in 2005.

On May 11, a jury convicted the Lawrence man of setting the apartment fire that killed three and injured 17, but stopped short of convicting him of first-degree murder.

Rose was convicted of one count of involuntary manslaughter, one count of aggravated arson and seven counts of aggravated battery. Judge Jack A. Murphy agreed with the prosecution and granted the defense's request of serving the sentence concurrently.

Nicole Bingham, Yolanda Riddle and Jose Gonzalez died in the early morning blaze, which completely destroyed the 76-unit apartment complex.Rose, a former foster child, had moved out on his own just weeks before the fire was set.Four relatives of the victims provided statements to Judge Murphy, including especially emotional remarks made by the mother of Bingham and Gonzalez' sister, Maria.

She said her older brother, Jose, lived his life with no regrets.

"He was my best friend," Maria Gonzalez said. "Even though we have to move on, it's not something that we can overcome in a day."

Leigh McHatton, who survived the fire, also provided a statement to the judge.

"Our wounds and the wounds of our families are a constant reminder of what has taken place," a trembling McHatton told the judge.

Following Rose's departure from the courtroom, his attorney, Ron Evans, was signing paperwork to appeal.He declined further comment.

Rose faced a maximum sentence of 122 months in prison, although he will get credit for the 19 months he's already served in custody. He's also eligible for 15 percent off the sentence if he doesn't have disciplinary problems in prison.

Upon release, Rose will undergo a 36-month supervisory period.

Comments

westernksgirl 7 years, 1 month ago

He should have received life. Since the jury found him guilty of ARSON, which, is felony (KSA 21-3718), then, the deaths that resulted from that, should, IMO, be considered felony murder. . .as, they were a direct result of the felony of arson. I hope that the DA's office appeals this sentence and conviction.

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Wilbur_Nether 7 years, 1 month ago

smitty wrote "He should have been acquited...", but in truth only 12 people in the entire country had the right to decide that...and they decided otherwise. b3 decried the length of the prison term as too short. My understanding of sentencing guidelines (imperfect, at best, I'll admit) are that this is consistent with what the legislature said should be sentenced for this type of conviction. We should talk to legislators about sentencing guidelines if we don't like the sentences convicted persons receive.

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Sean Livingstone 7 years, 1 month ago

To be cruel, he should be sentenced to 40 years, without parole. When he comes out of jail, he will be too old and suffer the consequences of murdering others.

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Moderateguy 7 years, 1 month ago

This guy murders three people, and could be out in 7-1/2 years or so? The system is truly broken. Our Law Enforcement personnel are doing a great job catching these people, and the court system is just letting them back on the street with a slap on the wrist.

At some point a fire changes from something you can easliy extinguish to something out of control. A decision was made to let it burn past that point. This guy murdered people by that decision. My sincere condolences to everyone affected by this tragedy now turned travesty.

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Centrist 7 years, 1 month ago

How is it that the 'sentencing guidelines' are not multiplied for each victim?

Does that mean that if 33 people died instead of 3, it would make no difference?

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Wilbur_Nether 7 years, 1 month ago

Moderateguy wrote "the court system is just letting them back on the street with a slap on the wrist." and Bubbles followed it up with "Remember the jurys [sic] names that gave him 10 years."

Not the "court system" or the jurors that are responsible for the --the legislature gave the courts a matrix of sentencing guidelines. And I don't know the answers to Centrist's questions.

Incidentally, the jurors aren't liable for their decision, as long as they faithfully executed their obligations and came to a fair verdict. Fair doesn't mean what you and I would decide, incidentally--it means without coercion or other outside influence. They only get what the court gave them to make their decision. My judge friends tell me that threatening jurors is frowned upon....

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Bubbles 7 years, 1 month ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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tmtodd12 7 years, 1 month ago

I think he should of got more time than that. The fire he set killed three inocent people. He will be walking free in less that ten years. To me no justice was served at all.

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Bitter 7 years, 1 month ago

I don't agree with the only doubling the 61 months either! Each guilty verdict should have it's own separate penalties!

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nobody1793 7 years, 1 month ago

I haven't followed this very closely...why did he get only one count of manslaughter if three people died? I'm sure that would have put him away for much longer.

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ModerateOne 7 years, 1 month ago

"Centrist (Anonymous) says:

How is it that the 'sentencing guidelines' are not multiplied for each victim?

Does that mean that if 33 people died instead of 3, it would make no difference?"

It makes no difference, because that is the law. He only set one fire, not 3 or 33.

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jackie 7 years, 1 month ago

The Journal World needs to do a better job of editing. In the article that concerns the return of the verdict, the J-W reported that he had been convicted of 3 counts of involuntary manslaughter.

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Bitter 7 years, 1 month ago

He was. 3 counts involuntary manslaughter, 7 counts aggravated battery (injured people), 1 count arson. That's why I don't understand why each and every count doesn't have years or months attached them them individually.

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gccs14r 7 years, 1 month ago

How long would you lock up a 2nd-grader for this? That's Jason's mental capacity. He should not have been living unsupervised. Now he won't be.

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jackie 7 years, 1 month ago

He was sentenced to serve his time concurrently, not consecutively. Concurrently means you serve the length of longest sentence and that is it.

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whatintheworld 7 years, 1 month ago

JUSTICE TO THE INDIVIDUALS THAT SUFFERED IN THIS FIRE, IN DEATH AND IN SO OTHER MANY LOSSES WAS NOT SERVED. I AM NOT FOR THE DEATH PENALTY, BUT ONE WOULD THINK THAT WHEN SOMEONE TAKES A LIFE LET ALONE THREE, THEN THEIRS SHOULD BE TAKEN, AND BY THAT I MEAN THEIR FREEDOM FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES.

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Bitter 7 years, 1 month ago

So how long would he have served if it were consecutively?

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Bitter 7 years, 1 month ago

So what is with the doubling the longest sentence? The judge doubled the 61 months to give him 122 months.

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aquakej 7 years, 1 month ago

It's not like he pulled out a knife and stabbed 3 people. The consequences of his actions killed 3 people. He should be punished for that, but he isn't a cold-blooded murderer. Just like gccs14r said, "He shouldnt' have been living unsupervised. Now he won't be".

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jackie 7 years, 1 month ago

The jury found that he did not intend to kill these people. Basically, it was a horrible mistake. He will pay for that mistake by sitting in prison for over a decade. Although not sufficent to make those that suffered whole again, our system is built on the premise of redemption after serving an appropriate punishment for making that horrible mistake which led to the tragic demise of 3 innocent people.

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Centrist 7 years, 1 month ago

Right ... it's not like he deliberately set fire to a building that had PEOPLE in it ...

disgusted

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Centrist 7 years, 1 month ago

Gimme a break. He didn't burn down a SHED. He burned down an APARTMENT complex.

How can he NOT know that people were in it???

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Ragingbear 7 years, 1 month ago

Most jurors are usually interviewed to determine their intellect and ability to filter out crap. Then the stupidest ones are chosen to be a jury. Just try going into jury duty with a copy of a book not written by Dr. Suess. You will be constantly passed up until they eventually send you home. Go in there looking like your the 5th generation of brother marrying sister relationships, then you will be put on as foreman.

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ebyrdstarr 7 years, 1 month ago

The 122 months was the longest sentence he could have received. The only way the judge could get to that number was to run the sentences consecutively.

When sentencing a defendant with multiple counts, the judge must establish the primary crime, which is the most severe crime. In this case, that is the aggravated arson, a severity level 3 felony. The defendant's full criminal history is then applied to that count. In this case, the defendant had no criminal history, so he fell into the lowest range on the sentencing grid box for a defendant convicted of a severity level 3 felony. The maximum penalty for that box is 61 months. The total sentence for all of the defendant's counts cannot exceed double that amount, or 122 months.

All of the other counts are then calculated as if the defendant has no criminal history, which made no difference in this case. Those sentences can all be run consecutively, but there is an automatic cap once the sentence for all of the lesser counts doubles the sentence for the primary crime.

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Bitter 7 years, 1 month ago

See now that sucks to me! He should serve for each sentence, for each victim. I think.

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GetItRight 7 years, 1 month ago

"Rose was convicted of one count of involuntary manslaughter, one count of aggravated arson and seven counts of aggravated battery. Judge Jack A. Murphy agreed with the prosecution and granted the defense's request of serving the sentence concurrently."

Do you people edit before posting your stories? Rose was convicted of three counts of involuntary manslaughter, not one. And the sentences were ordered consecutively, not concurrently...hence the 122 months. 61 months for the aggravated arson and 32 months for every other count. By state law, the final sentence can't more than double the controlling charge, so he got 122 months. (Consecutive = one after another. Concurrent = at the same time.)

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m1983 7 years, 1 month ago

You all know how I feel on this..It should have been longer, but I would have been sick over it if he didn't receive max time. Truth is, lets wait a decade and a few months and see what he does next.

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stuckinthemiddle 7 years, 1 month ago

m1983 Excuse me, but I really have no idea how you feel about this.

For me, I don't really have enough information to have much of an opinion on this.

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m1983 7 years, 1 month ago

aquakej -no, he didn't "stab people with a knife" but he did burn them alive.. for him to have started the fire he did, at that time of night, and not think people would be hurt/killed is ridiculous.

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m1983 7 years, 1 month ago

stuckinthemiddle, other people are on here besides you. and i have enough info personally to have the opinion i do.

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Leandra Galindo 7 years, 1 month ago

WOW, 122 MONTHS...WHAT ABOUT THE VICTIMS...DID THE AND OF THE JURY MEMBERS EVEN THINK TWICE ABOUT NICOLE, YOLANDA OR MR. GONZALES? I ASSUME THEY WILL LIVE WITH THE DECISION THEY MADE FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIFE. MR. ROSE GOT AWAY WITH MURDER...I AM REALLY LOSING HOPE IN THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM THAT'S SUPPOSED TO PROTECT US. I STILL MISS MY FRIEND YOLANDA...AND I AM SURE ALL THE PEOPLE THAT KNEW HER STILL DO. REST IN PEACE...YOLANDA, NICOLE AND MR. GONZALES...YOU'LL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN.

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Steve Jacob 7 years, 1 month ago

122 months (let's call in 10 years, sounds like more) is fair I guess because there was never any evidence he's wanted to hurt anyone. You say it does not matter, but for sure it does. Sorry to all the fire hurt.

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sourpuss 7 years, 1 month ago

I feel sorry for everyone affected by this, including the defendant. I am glad I don't have to spend 7+ years in jail! If you think that is an "easy" sentence, then serve it yourself. I think that is a very long sentence. He obviously need supervision, and that will happen. I think people need to remember that punishment doesn't resurrect the dead.

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compmd 7 years, 1 month ago

"As big as you think" is a silly slogan for this state. I much prefer "Kansas: Where the Courtrooms are for Show and Everyone is Guilty of Everything."

Stop faulting "the system" for this guy's sentence. The justice system worked, and his sentence was handed down in accordance with the law. If there are so many people that think the sentences are unfair, get united, lobby your congressman, and have the statutes changed. That's part of a congressman's job.

stuckinthemiddle, there is a wonderful feature of this website that allows you to view an individual's prior posts. I am certain it would be much easier to use that than to get into it with m1983.

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camper 7 years, 1 month ago

One should never forget the three innocent (and wonderful) people Yolanda, Jose, & Nicole who lost their lives. Once you get past that terrible reality, it is almost impossible to believe that basically an entire block was wiped out.....this is serious.

I was able to get out without injury. I lost everything save for what I had on and miraculously some of my music CD's were retrieved. But I have no regrets about the material things I lost because I learned something. I also learned and saw how bravely people can act when confronted with danger. To those people, you know who you are. Many thanks.

I also cannot help but feel some sadness for Jason Rose. But I truly wish he was more forthright and confessed properly to spare the victims of having to go through two trials. This had to weigh on their minds for 19 months. To me this is just as regretable as starting the fire assuming it was a terrible mistake and/or misjudgement on his part.

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nomansland 7 years, 1 month ago

it's pretty sad when drug dealers serve longer sentences than this.

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myjaan2007 7 years, 1 month ago

DA's of the Douglas County has done a terrible job handling the case. The State of KS needs to stop pursuing more laws or creating more stupid laws on registered offenders. The KS legislature must work on giving justice to those, who are desperately needing a fair decision. When he gets out after 10 years, if he commits any other crimes, I am sure Charles Branson, and some racist DA's would not take the responsibility. Why are they playing mind games? Why don't we go out on the street and strike one day for justice.

They call Lawrence a liberal town. I still doubt it. As long as the hippies and the hypocrites smoke some weed, and they are happy to be liberal. When it comes to acceptance and who to vote, they vote no other than republican. I am ashamed to live in a town like that.

We still have chances, but we need to recognize them very well. Lets prove the DA wrong. Lets march for the justice. That's all.

Thanks.

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compmd 7 years, 1 month ago

"The State of KS needs to stop pursuing more laws or creating more stupid laws on registered offenders. The KS legislature must work on giving justice to those, who are desperately needing a fair decision."

Amen to that, myjaan2007.

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m1983 7 years, 1 month ago

sourpuss. no, the punishment does not bring back those who died, but there are still consequences to actions. who gives a crap if jail is not "fun" for jason, he killed 3 people, he should have thought about it before he set the fire.

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gccs14r 7 years, 1 month ago

He's 7 years old. Not physically, but mentally. Keep that in mind as you froth at the mouth, clamoring for his execution.

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compmd 7 years, 1 month ago

I love the people on this board that make Lawrence look like it is filled with violent vigilantes and anarchists.

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Bitter 7 years, 1 month ago

Uh, isn't Branson a Democrat?

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Bitter 7 years, 1 month ago

And he's not 7 mentally. That was proved in court by the defense's expert witness. She said he was a couple of years delayed in the past but when she did tests he would not even qualify for Special Education

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pissedinlawrence 7 years, 1 month ago

Jason Allen Rose is innocent!!! He did not start the fire. I was at the fire and he was helping people escape. The police just needed to arrest someone to look good, then drill it into this poor child's head that he did it. We love you Jason. Justice will be served when this is set to appeal.

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Ragingbear 7 years, 1 month ago

He set it, it got out of control for him. So he tried to make himself the center of attention by being the most helpful. He even admitted to it. I was at the fire too. I am quite aware of what happened. The real problem was that that entire place was a freaking death trap.

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bambam23 7 years, 1 month ago

"pissedinlawrence (Anonymous) says:

Jason Allen Rose is innocent!!! He did not start the fire. I was at the fire and he was helping people escape. The police just needed to arrest someone to look good, then drill it into this poor child's head that he did it. We love you Jason. Justice will be served when this is set to appeal."

Hes not a child he is a killer. I hope he dies in prison with a broom stuck up his a**.

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Thats_messed_up 7 years, 1 month ago

Liberal Lawrence------Kill 3 people.......get 8 years, then go on with your life. It wouldn't be right to take away this poor boy's civil rights. lol

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stuckinthemiddle 7 years, 1 month ago

LJW Are you certain that having people comment here is a good idea?

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aquakej 7 years, 1 month ago

I wonder what civil suits will be brought forth now that the Rose deal is done. The fact that this place was "a death trap" is the fault of Boarwalk Apartments. They shouldn't have had such a flammable apartment complex in the first place. Why did no fire alarms go off? NO fire alarms went off. EVER. If there had been working fire alarms, perhaps everyone would have woken up and gotten out. Yolanda and Mr. Gonzalez were most likely killed in their sleep. Fire alarms might have saved their lives.

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Bitter 7 years, 1 month ago

A MAJOR good job needs to go out to the 4 Haskell boys (3 testified I think) who went knocking on doors that night! They truly showed courage!

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