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North Laurel Man Found Guilty of Setting Girlfriend on Fire

Juror: "He admitted that he did pour gasoline on her at two different times."

A Howard County juror who was part of the panel that found a North Laurel homeless man guilty Monday in the burning death of his girlfriend said Richard Allen Rodola’s own testimony helped convince the juror of the verdict.

Police and prosecutors said Rodola poured gasoline over 37-year-old Pamela Myers before lighting her on fire in the woods by Route 1 in North Laurel in the fall of 2010.

James Mackin was part of the 12-person jury who spent 22 hours deliberating the verdict that was issued Monday: guilty of second-degree murder and first-degree assault in the death of Myers, according to the Howard County Times.

Rodola, 50, had been charged with first-degree murder and assault in Myers’ death.

“It was a very difficult for us to fathom someone intending to do this,” Mackin told Patch.

Myers died Nov. 18, 2010 after being hospitalized. The Times reported that she needed eight surgeries for burns over 52 percent of her body.  

Mackin said jurors spent time analyzing Rodola’s actions, using evidence and testimony to determine his intent. Rodola’s time on the stand was “significant in our decision,” Mackin said.

“While being a witness for his own trial, he admitted that he did pour gasoline on her at two different times, and that he did light the lighter and stepped toward her and held the lighter toward her,” he said.

Rodola claimed during the trial that both he and Myers were drunk and the incident was an accident, according to the Howard County Times.

Myers was found in the woods near the 9100 block of Washington Blvd. in North Laurel on Oct. 23, 2010. She later died at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore.

Rodola’s sentencing is scheduled for May 22, the Times reported.

kraftydevil March 04, 2012 at 06:12 PM
His sentence has not been announced, so I don't see how you can characterize his punishment as a slap on the wrist. If the death penalty actually worked as a deterrent, then there wouldn't be any murders in states that do use corporal punishment. There isn't much we can do for the criminals and killers out there today, but there is something we can do for the younger generations for which the blame is on us for failing to teach them between right and wrong, especially in matters of life and death.
Michael Wright March 18, 2012 at 10:07 AM
Not sure the death penalty is a deterrent for capital crimes but some people are inherently evil and should get the eye for an eye treatment.
Kimberly Tucker April 05, 2012 at 06:11 AM
THIS GUY GOES BY RICKY RODELA AND THIS WOMAN PAMEL HAD TWO CHILDREN,AT THE TIME OF HER DEATH, AND EX HUSBAND SHES FROM NORTH LAUREL HE WAS FROM DEEP RUN LIVING OFF HIS MOTHER AT TIMES, WHEN HE WAS NOT DRINKING!! BUT THAT WAS A VERY RARE TIME THAT HAPPEND. BUT BEING KNOWN AS A DRUNK ALL OF HIS LIFE , HIS SISTER N BROTHER DID NOT WANT ANYTHING TO DO WITH , CAUSE OF HIS VIOLENT TEMPER !!! YOU MAY SAY HOW DOES SHE KNOW ALL OF THIS?? THATS BECAUSE I LIVED ACROSSED THE STREET FROM PAM, AS EVERYONE CALLLED HER, RICKYS SISTER WAS MY NEXT DOOR NEIGHBER, AND I ALSO GOT HER A JOB WORKING WITH ME FOR 2 YEARS AND WE LIVED AT THE MOBILE HOME PARK , THAT WAS THERE BY BOTTOM OF THE BAY!!!BUT ITS NOW AN OFFICE COMPLEX HIGHRISE IN NORTH LAUREL! THIS FREAKING MANIAC NEEDS TO BE PUT TO DEATH IN THE ELECTRIC CHAIR SO HE HIMSELF NEEDS TO FEEL SOME PAIN BEFORE DYING!!!!!! MAY GOD BE WITH HER , AND WATCH OVER HER CHILDREN!!
Family Friend May 23, 2012 at 08:48 PM
WILL SOMEONE TELL THIS WOMAN TO STOP YELLING? I can read better like this. I know "Richard" (his entire family actually) and knew Pam very well. They both had their issues and were both alcoholics, to say the least. It's unfortunate all this happened but their was no innocence in this crime. I've witnesses these two physically fighting, verbally abusing each other, Pam cheating, "Richard" cheating, etc... They should have had the better knowledge to leave each other alone and not stay together for ~10 years. So Kimberly Tucker, thanks for your input on this thread. But before you go spewing one-side opinions, I'd ask that you consider everything and offer these readers something a bit more well-rounded. By the way, I've spoken to family who still speaks to "Richard" and he confesses that he wishes each day that he'd also die. He loved this woman and was attached to her (remember...~10 yrs.) and in one of their fights he accidentally went too far to scare her off and did something which caused her to later die. I'll leave you with this: He deserves severe punishment, definitely. But by no means is this a case of a murderous, evil man intentionally killing an upstanding, tax-paying female citizen. Please do not misinterpret these words as meaning it was OK for her to die.
tiffany May 24, 2012 at 09:38 PM
i also knew rick in the early 90s i workrd with his first wife she's from califiorina she told me how shocking i ran into him a couple a years ago but did not know who he was i guess you don't know people like you know"

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