Fairbanks teen sentenced to 30 years in prison for crime spree

Posted: Wednesday, June 21, 2000

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A Fairbanks teen who shot a woman at random and set fire to an apartment building was sentenced to 30 years in prison Tuesday.

Roger Rose had pleaded guilty to charges of attempted murder, arson and burglary stemming from an October 1998 crime spree. Other charges, including assault, theft and weapons misconduct, were dropped.

At his sentencing hearing Tuesday, Rose apologized to his victims. But Superior Court Judge Ralph Beistline called Rose's apologies too little, too late.

''You gave your victims no leniency. I don't see where you deserve any either,'' Beistline said.

Rose's crimes began Oct. 9, 1998, with a burglary of three firearms, police said.

A week later he shot a woman with a stolen .22-caliber semi-automatic pistol as she sat on her couch in front of her living-room window watching television.

About a week after that, he took a cab to a gas station, bought gas and used it to set fire to an apartment building, apparently targeting one apartment as a result of a perceived drug deal gone wrong.

The cab driver, who Rose stiffed, reportedly turned him in.

Assistant District Attorney James Doogan argued that the only thing that saved Rose's 54-year-old shooting victim was a thick window pane that slowed the bullet. The family whose apartment Rose torched discovered the fire and got out in time due to luck, he said.

Defense attorney Lori Bodwell pointed out that Rose, who was 15 when he committed the crimes, pleaded guilty to the charges and wants to pay for his crimes.

''While his crimes are certainly adult crimes, he was just a kid at the time,'' Bodwell said.

Beistline said Rose's possibility for reform is unknown, particularly given that the teen-ager bragged to friends about his crimes. The judge also noted that Rose has been in trouble for taking drugs and fighting with other inmates at the Fairbanks Youth Facility since his arrest.

When he gets out of prison, Rose will be on probation for 10 years.

A restitution hearing was scheduled for July. Victims are asking for at least $152,000 in damages.

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