Friday, June 02, 2006

Update on Yvette Cade

Update on the Yvette Cade story. The wife who was set on fire by her estranged husband.

From the Washington Post:

WASHINGTON — A Maryland man who set his wife on fire was sentenced by a Prince George’s County, Md., judge Friday to the maximum penalty of life in prison after a jury found him guilty of attempted murder and assault charges.

Circuit Court Judge William Missouri told Roger Hargrave, 34, that he had failed to take responsibility for the Oct. 10, 2005, attack in which he doused his estranged wife, Yvette Cade, with gasoline and then lit a match to her.

“You never once said I am sorry for what I did to my wife,” Missouri told Hargrave. “You said I’m sorry for what happened to her. You’re avoiding responsibility for what you did.”

A Prince George’s jury convicted Hargrave of first- and second-degree attempted murder and first-degree assault on April 28. The attack occurred when Hargrave walked into a mobile phone store where Cade worked in Clinton, Md., poured gasoline on her head from a bottle and chased her outside, where she fell to the ground. Hargrave then lit a match and dropped it on her.

Hargrave did not testify at his trial, and his defense attorney did not dispute that his client had set Cade on fire. The attorney contended, however, that Hargrave was not trying to kill Cade.

Cade, 32, suffered third-degree burns — the most serious kind — on much of her torso and underwent more than a dozen surgeries.

Friday morning, inside an Upper Marlboro courtroom packed with members of the Cade family, reporters and curious courthouse workers, Hargrave spoke publicly about the attack for the first time.

Dressed in a dark blue suit and silver-colored tie, he read from a statement he had written himself. He often mumbled and spoke in a voice so low that Missouri several times prompted him to speak up so the court reporter could hear him.

Hargrave apologized to Cade’s co-workers who witnessed the attack and to Cade’s family, and he said he was sorry for what happened to her.

“I still can’t figure out what I thought I was doing,” Hargrave said. “I can only explain my actions as those of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.”

Hargrave asserted that he was not trying to murder his estranged wife. Saying that he now has embraced Christianity, he said he hopes someday to be able to help people afflicted by physical and emotional abuse.

Cade, given the opportunity to speak before Hargrave was sentenced, said she did not know what else she could say about the attack. Then she asked people in the courtroom to close their eyes and bow their heads as she recited the Lord’s Prayer.

In addition to focusing attention on domestic violence, the widely publicized case has embroiled a Prince George’s district court judge in controversy.

About three weeks before the attack, District Court Judge Richard Palumbo dismissed a protective order Cade had obtained against Hargrave, according to court records.

Last month, the Maryland Commission on Judicial Disabilities formally accused Palumbo of misconduct in the Cade case. The commission also accused Palumbo of a broad pattern of insensitivity in domestic violence cases and charged him with violating judicial standards by his behavior in two traffic incidents in which he encountered Maryland State Police troopers.

Palumbo’s attorney this week filed a written response to the charges in which the judge denied any wrongdoing. The response said that the dismissal of Cade’s protective order was a clerical error.

The commission is scheduled to hold a public hearing on the charges in August.


Sarah said...

Clerical error my ass.

This guy shouldn't be a judge at all and should stand up and say, "Yes I am an insensitive a-hole and I am going to resign" instead of passing it off as someone else's mistake.

Brian said...

I personally don't think he should have a choice in the matter of resigning. I think this judge should be locked up for assisting in this horrible tragedy.