MAN GIVEN MAX IN GIRL’S MURDER (25-to-life in death of 3 year old)

Charles Bodenburg, 20, molested, beat and smothered 3 year old Kayla Zachman to death while baby-sitting her and her infant brother.  Bodenburg was the boyfriend of Kayla's mother.  Kayla's grandmother said she could track Kayla's fear of Bodenburg back around Memorial Day weekend, when he started baby-sitting regularly since the mother had started working.  The mother said, She cried.  She didn't want me to leave her with him.

Bodenburg's initial story was that his girlfriend's young daughter died from drinking too much amaretto.  The version of events he gave later to police is closer to the truth.  In an emotionless videotaped confession, he told detectives that on August 30, 1999,  he got upset with Kayla after she drank some amaretto.  When she wouldn't stop crying, he spanked her, beat her with part of a crutch and jammed his fingers into her anus while she screamed, Stop, Daddy!  When she wouldn't be quiet, he knelt on her back and covered her head with a pillow until her arms and legs were twitching.  According to Newsday, defense attorney Martin Efman  told Suffolk County Court Judge Anthony Corso to disregard the confession.  Your honor, what we have here is that the police turned a tragic accident into a murder, said Efman.  Kayla's mother, Torianne Zachman said she is haunted by her daughter's death and wants Bodenburg locked up forever.  He was convicted of killing the 3 year old girl and still maintained his innocence at his sentencing yesterday, saying he played no role in her death.  He was sentenced to 25 years to life.  Bodenburg's attorney, Martin I. Efman of Central Islip, said he would appeal because he believes the physical evidence presented in the case did not support the confession.

(Ronkonkoma, New York)