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Man Sentenced In Burning Case

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A Mendocino County man who set his former girlfriend on fire has been sentenced to life in prison. Gregory Beck showed no emotion yesterday as he sat in a Ukiah courtroom and listened to family and friends of Sherry Carlton relate the pain he caused. Carlton is permanently disabled. She lives in a convalescent home in Lakeport, unable to feed herself or speak.

Beck was convicted in April of torture, domestic violence, assault with a caustic chemical and causing great bodily injury. He´ll be eligible for parole in seven years.

Beck argued during the trial that he never intended to hurt Carlton. He says he was squirting lighter fluid on a barbecue grill when Carlton´s clothes caught fire. Prosecutors argued he was angry with her because she had broken up with him two weeks earlier and had obtained a restraining order. She was at his home to pick up some belongings.