LA woman gets life sentence for setting bikini dancer on fire at San Fernando Valley club

Thursday, March 4, 2010

LA woman gets life sentence for burning dancer

LOS ANGELES — A San Fernando Valley woman was sentenced to life in prison Thursday for dousing a bikini dancer with gasoline and setting her on fire at a club called “Babes & Beer.”

Rianne Theriault-Odom, 28, was sentenced in Van Nuys Superior Court for the Feb. 5, 2009 attack on Roberta Busby. The Simi Valley woman received burns over 40 percent of her body and has had more than two dozen skin grafts.

The badly-scarred victim tearfully asked the judge to issue the maximum sentence for an act of “drunken rage.”

“Now you’re going to feel the same heartache that I felt when I couldn’t hug, kiss or play with my kids or even talk to my kids,” the 28-year-old mother of two told her attacker, reading from a letter in court.

“I guess I’ll never know what was going through your mind that night, but one day you’ll have to answer to God, and that’s more justice than any prison can do to you,” Busby said.

Odom, who has four children, requested a psychiatrist and said she was mentally unprepared for the sentence. Superior Court Judge turned down a request to postpone the sentencing.

Prosecutors say the two women had been feuding when Theriault-Odom doused Busby with gasoline from a soda bottle and set her ablaze at the Tarzana club.

Busby ran inside, and employees and patrons used curtains to douse the flames.

Theriault-Odom, who’d been refused a job as a dancer at the club, claimed someone else set the woman on fire.

Last month, a jury convicted her of torture and aggravated mayhem but acquitted her of attempted murder.

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