Man douses girlfriend with lighter fluid, sets her on fire - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Man allegedly sets girlfriend on fire during argument

Robert Williams Robert Williams
The blinds in the apartment window are warped and melted. The blinds in the apartment window are warped and melted.
COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

Police said an argument between a Columbus couple took a violent turn when a man set his girlfriend on fire.

The victim was caught in this fire long enough to receive second and third-degree burns on her hands and face.

Robert Williams, 35, is in jail, charged with aggravated assault and battery.  Police said he poured lighter fluid on his girlfriend Valleri Smith in the bedroom of their Havenbrook Court apartment and then set her on fire Tuesday morning.

Neighbors said after emergency crews arrived, they could tell right away that this was not a normal fire.

"I saw all the fire trucks and stuff.  After I found out what happened, I thought, why should it have happened like that when they could have solved it another way?" said Cornell Bryant.

"I feel like, if [she]was going to leave him, he should have just left... I didn't even know they were fighting," said Geayye Geoe.

The blinds in the apartment window are warped and melted, evidencing the amount of heat the fire must have produced.

Smith, 44 was burned so severely, she needed to be treated at a hospital in Atlanta. Her family said she was released from surgery Wednesday afternoon.

She is currently being treated at the burn center in Augusta, GA. Family members are asking the public for prayers as Smith remains in critical condition. 

A judge set Williams' bond at $100,000 Wednesday morning and he is still behind bars. 

Copyright 2013 WTVM. All rights reserved.

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