REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (AP) - San Mateo County prosecutors say a
Half Moon Bay man originally charged with setting the house fire that killed his two young sons was sentenced to three years in prison but could get out in as little as seven months.
A judge sentenced Charles Schuttloffel Thursday under a deal approved in April, when the 38-year-old father pleaded no contest to two counts of involuntary manslaughter for the 2004 deaths of his sons, Charles Edward "Charlie" Schuttloffel Jr., 3, and William Leonard "Billy" Schuttloffel, 2.
A grand jury charged Schuttloffel with two counts of murder after investigators determined the fatal fire must have been set intentionally. But prosecutors later conceded they would have trouble proving the fire was arson, in part because three appliances that also could have sparked the blaze were destroyed in the flames.
Schuttloffel, who was outside the house when the fire started, had to be restrained by sheriff's deputies when he tried to re-enter his burning home to save the children. His wife, Lana, has stood by him maintaining his innocence since he was arrested and jailed last year.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)