Hubby set alight as 'shooting him was too nice'

Last updated 09:19 08/08/2014

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A US woman who told police she set fire to her husband because shooting him would be too nice has pleaded not guilty to a charge of domestic violence assault.

Tatanysha Hedman, 39, remained jailed after her court appearance at the Regional Justice Centre in Kent, Washington, with bail set at US$500,000 (NZ$589,000).

The police report filed with court papers said she poured petrol over Vincent Phillips on July 16 at their Renton apartment and set the fire because she believed he had molested a child. A friend helped put out the fire and Phillips went to a nearby convenience store asking for help.

Phillips, 52, was treated at Harborview Medical Centre in Seattle for severe burns to his head and chest.

Police have investigated the abuse allegation, and the prosecutor's office is still reviewing the case and deciding whether he should be charged, spokesman Dan Donohoe said today.

An officer who responded to the convenience store while Phillips was being treated by medics said he said, "My wife did it."

The friend, who was sleeping on a couch in the apartment at the time of the incident, told police she woke up to arguing and saw Hedman run out of the apartment. Then Phillips ran out the bedroom with his head on fire.

She threw a blanket over him to put out the flames. Phillips didn't say anything except to scream and left the apartment, the police report said.

When a Renton detective questioned Hedman two days later, she said she bought petrol, took it to the apartment and poured it on Phillips to set him on fire because she believed he had abused a child.

"She also stated that she made up her mind that she was going to pour gasoline on him and not shoot him because that was too nice," the police report said.

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- AP

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