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California Briefing / Tarzana

Woman charged in torching case

February 12, 2009|Richard Winton

A 27-year-old woman was charged Wednesday with attempted murder, mayhem and torture for allegedly tossing a flammable liquid on an exotic dancer and setting her ablaze last week outside a Tarzana nightclub.

Rianne Celine Theriault-Odom allegedly had a verbal exchange with the 27-year-old dancer outside Babes & Beer about 1:30 a.m. Feb. 5. Theriault-Odom allegedly doused Roberta Busby of Simi Valley, a single mother of two, with a liquid from a soda bottle and set her on fire. The victim remains in critical condition at Grossman Burn Center.

Jane Robison, a district attorney's spokeswoman, said that the suspect and victim did not know each other and that the motive remains unclear.

Prosecutors did not charge Nathaniel Petrillo, 22, who was arrested Monday along with Theriault-Odom at a motel on Lankershim Boulevard in North Hollywood after a highly publicized search for the pair, officials said.

Robison said prosecutors declined to file charges against Petrillo because there was insufficient evidence to prove he had participated in the attack. However, he is being held on a separate probation violation, Robison said.

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-- Richard Winton

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