Wednesday, May 03, 2000

Man charged with trying to set wife on fire


Said she feared he'd hurt others

By Susan Vela
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        After her husband allegedly set her clothes on fire, a 45-year-old Florence woman called 911 because she was worried that he might leave their house and do even more harm to others, said Florence Patrolman Craig Burch.

        Doug A. Williams, 47, of the 900 block of Virginia Avenue, first threatened to buy a gun from a pawn shop and kill several of his relatives in the early morning of April 27, before he turned on his wife, took a butane lighter to her hair, robe and pajama top and threatened to stab her in the throat, Mr. Burch said in court Tuesday.

        When Mr. Williams' wife broke away, she called police and tried to keep Mr. Williams there until they arrived.

        “She was afraid that if he got out, he'd do more damage,” said Mr. Burch, testifying Tuesday at Mr. Williams' preliminary hearing in Boone District Court.

        Boone District Judge Charles Moore bound the Williams case over to circuit court, where Mr. Williams now faces charges of wanton endangerment, terroristic threatening and attempted murder. A charge of unlawful imprisonment was dismissed.

        If convicted of the attempted murder charge alone, Mr. Williams could face a maximum of 20 years in prison.

        Patrolman Burch testified that, according to Mr. Williams' wife, on Thursday, April 27:

        • Mr. Williams arrived home around 3 a.m., turned on the stereo and announced it was time to party and “rock-n-roll.”

        • When his wife was fully awake, he told her that he had priced a pawnshop gun and that he planned to hurt relatives, or “take some people out,” because they allegedly abused him years ago.

        • He tried to call them, but his wife kept unplugging the phone. That's when he turned on her, holding a pocketknife to her throat.

        “OK, you're going to feel the pain,” he said. “I'm going to cut you deep. I'm going to cut your face up.”

        • He then tried to set her clothes on fire. Mr. Williams' wife was being choked when she broke free and called 911.

        Patrolman Burch arrived around 9:50 a.m. She greeted him outside the front door. Her clothes were wet from dousing the flames. Her skin on the left side of her chest was red, “like a sunburn,” said Mr. Burch.

        He said she refused medical treatment. But, “she seemed pretty shaken up. She was pretty scared. She had been lit on fire.”

        Mr. Williams was not there. Edgewood Police arrested him later that evening. He remains in Boone County Jail, pending payment of a $250,000 cash bond.

        In 1997, Mr. Williams was charged with fourth-degree assault and domestic violence for allegedly grabbing his wife by the throat and throwing her out the front door. Charges were dismissed because his wife did not want to pursue them, court documents say.

       



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