Dominican TV host turns self in after fire affair

AP News
Posted: Dec 11, 2012 2:52 PM

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) — A TV show host accused of setting a U.S. magician's hair on fire while taping a show has turned himself in to police, his attorney told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Franklin Barazarte was arrested late Monday after he flew back to the Dominican Republic from the U.S., where he was fulfilling previously scheduled work commitments, said his attorney, Teobaldo Duran.

He said he will seek Barazarte's release from jail ahead of trial.

"We're going to prove that he is willing to face justice," Duran said. "He turned himself in voluntarily and does not pose a flight risk."

Monica Pena, a spokeswoman for the Dominican prosecutors' office, said prosecutors will request that a judge impose a bond, bar Barazarte from leaving the country and order periodic court appearances before the trial.

A judge has until Wednesday to issue a ruling, Pena said.

Barazarte is accused of tossing flaming liquid on Wayne Houchin's head as a "blessing" during a Nov. 26 taping of an astrology and variety show called "Closer to the Stars." Barazarte was serving as guest host, while Houchin, a 29-year-old from Chico, California, was participating as part of the "Curiosities 2012" tour. Houchin had just finished a season as a host of the Discovery Channel show "Breaking Magic."

Barazarte told the AP in an interview last week that it was an accident and that he had performed numerous such blessings without prior incidents.

An attorney for Houchin has said he is seeking a prison sentence as well as financial compensation. Houchin received first-degree burns on his scalp, face and right arm, according to doctors.