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20-year-old sentenced to life plus 40 for murder of older man - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

20-year-old sentenced to life plus 40 for murder of older man

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A district judge sentenced Roderick Cawthorne Jr. to life in prison plus 40 years Monday for the 2015 slaying of Charles Talen Sr., 73. 

Cawthorne, 20, was convicted by a jury in June on charges of second degree murder and obstruction of justice. 

Cawthorne was accused of robbing and killing Talen for a safe he had in his home that contained cash and gold coins.

According to the Jennings Daily News, which has covered the case exhaustively, impact statements were delivered by two of Talen’s children prior to Cawthorne's sentencing.

Talen's son said he had nightmares about his father's murder. Talen's daughter said she saw no remorse from Cawthorne, the paper reports. 

"My dad didn’t get to attend my daughter’s wedding because you stole that from him and us. You beat him to death and left him there to die. He didn’t deserve to die in such a horrible way," the newspaper reports his daughter said. 

Cawthorne's sentence for the second-degree murder charge was the mandatory life without benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence. On the obstruction charge, he received the maximum 40 years in prison. 

The trial for Carlos “Kung Fu” Daniels for second-degree murder, obstruction of justice and aggravated burglary and Vaughn Robinson for obstruction of justice, accessory after the fact, possession of stolen goods over $1,500 and criminal damage to property, are scheduled for next week, but are expected to be continued, the newspaper reports. 

Six more co-defendants also are yet to face trial. 

During the trial, several of Cawthorne's co-defendants testified. Brett Hebert, who is accused of being with Cawthorne during the crime, testified that Cawthorne hit the victim, and that Cawthorne knew about the safe and the coins because Talen's grandson, London Renfrow, told him about it. Testimony during the trial indicates that Renfrow, who is in jail in Nebraska, wouldn't help investigators trying to solve his grandfather's murder. 

In February 2015, Talen was found dead inside his Lake Arthur home by detectives who had come to tell him that his car was found on fire in Vermilion Parish. Ten people have been arrested and accused with various crimes in connection with Talen's death. 

Cawthorne, 18, and Hebert, 26, are accused of robbing and killing Talen. 

Also arrested in the case, accused of having knowledge of the crime or helping Cawthorne and Hebert were Daniels, 40; Monique Berry, 42; Vaughn Robinson, 37; Fawn Fontenot, 33; Marquel Devon Robinson, 28;  Siearra White, 29; Damian Vaughn Robinson, 19; Steven Oliver, 28; Dawn Lynn Fontenot, 33; and Vaughn Dell Robinson, 37. Cawthorne's father, Roderick Cawthorne Sr., 41, also was arrested and accused of helping his son hide the gold coins, which investigators later found in a building in Scott.

To read our related stories, check out the links here,  here and here

To read the newspaper's stories about Cawthorne, visit their website here. Full versions of the stories are only available to hard-copy and electronic editions' subscribers; to subscribe click here

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