Seattle man charged with burning girlfriend previously arrested in gasoline attack

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 21, 2015 6:41 PM

SEATTLE (Reuters) - A man charged with dousing his girlfriend with a flammable liquid and setting her on fire outside her Seattle home had previously been arrested for drenching a woman and her five-year-old son with gasoline, court officials said on Tuesday.

John Turner, 62, has been charged with assault and was being held on $1 million bail in connection with the April 12 attack that left his former girlfriend with burns over 30 percent of her body, according to the King County Prosecutor's Office.

Seattle police detectives said Turner was previously arrested in 2006 for allegedly dousing a woman and her 5-year-old son with gasoline, charging documents show. They were not burned.

In the more recent case, Turner approached his former girlfriend in the parking lot of her apartment complex, and, when she tried to walk away from him, he grabbed her and doused her with the liquid, police said. He then set her alight and fled, police said.

The woman rushed to a nearby courtyard and dropped to the ground, rolling to put out the flames.

Police arrested Turner days later after receiving a tip he had been spotted at a Seattle homeless shelter.

Turner told investigators he "blacked out" before the incident and did not remember setting the woman on fire, according to charging papers.

Arraignment for his most recent arrest was set for next week, the prosecutor's office said.

He was to be represented by a court-appointed attorney. It was unclear how he intended to plead to the charge.

(Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere; Editing by Sandra Maler)