Man Sentenced to 60 Years for Lockwood Mobile Home Fire - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Man Sentenced to 60 Years for Lockwood Mobile Home Fire

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BILLINGS -

The sentence is in. One of the men involved in the Lockwood mobile home fire in April 2013 will spend the next 60 years in prison.

Robert Bottenhagen was sentenced for four counts of negligent homicide, which he had pled guilty to.

There was not a dry eye in the courtroom as the families of the four victims testified how the deaths have affected them. One family member read a statement from the victim's 11-year-old daughter.

"My dad and mom always knew what I needed. Now that they are both gone, I feel alone in this giant world,” said Bettie Beyers, Amber Beyer’s mother. “Your stupidity will stay with us until the end of our days and forever more."

The trailer home fire left four dead: Amber Beyers, Brandi Moats, Donavon Fogle, and Troy Saylor. According to court documents, last April, Bottenhagen and Zaccary Kern were out drinking and then went to the residence on Hemlock Drive to continue partying. In an interview with Kern, detectives learned Bottenhagen lit an apron on fire and started whipping it around, when it hit his arm and a piece flew off onto the counter, starting the fire. Detectives say the two had a chance to warn the four victims who were sleeping, but fled instead.

Bottenhagen’s family said Bottenhagen took responsibility, and Kern threw Bottenhagen under the bus.

"On April 18, 2013, Robert walked into the Sheriff's Office alone to take responsibility and he turned himself in. From day one, he has taken responsibility for his actions and Bobby, I love you and I’m very proud of you for that," said Dean Bottenhagen.

The defense argued both were equally culpable and they should receive the same sentence. In May, Kern was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Bottenhagen also took the stand, apologizing to the victim's families. “The most important thing is that I’m truly sorry for all the pain and grief I’ve caused you all. To the parents, brothers, sisters, children, and everyone I’m very sorry and I take responsibility for your loss,” he said.

Ultimately, Judge Gregory Todd agreed with the prosecution, saying he didn't see a sense of guilt from Bottenhagen, and sentenced him to 60 years in prison, 15 years for each victim. Judge Todd also ordered Bottenhagen to pay $18,699.19 in restitution.

 

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