Devonne Marsh: Michigan man, 41, sets pregnant girlfriend on fire in horrifying attack

Marsh is now facing felony charges of assault/bodily harm less than murder and assault with a dangerous weapon


                            Devonne Marsh: Michigan man, 41, sets pregnant girlfriend on fire in horrifying attack
Marsh, 41, allegedly doused the woman with lighter fluid and set her on fire (Michigan Department of Corrections)

DETROIT, MICHIGAN: A woman pregnant with twins was hospitalized in a critical condition after being set on fire by her boyfriend. According to police, the suspect, Devonne Marsh, got into an argument with his girlfriend, 26, at their home near Packard Street and Outer Drive in Detroit, Michigan, on January 14. An enraged Marsh, 41, then allegedly doused the woman with lighter fluid and set her on fire.

Marsh is now facing felony charges of assault/bodily harm less than murder and assault with a dangerous weapon, online records from the Wayne County Sheriff's Office say. The suspect is also charged with possession of a loaded firearm in a vehicle, a misdemeanor.  He also has a previous charge for a dangerous drug warrant, Detroit officials said.

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The victim was over six months pregnant at the time of the attack. Police were called around 10:40 pm Jan 14 to the home in the 20000 block of Packard Street. They said they had received a tip that a woman was being held against her will and tortured. They found her in the basement and she was barely able to move. She was hospitalized with serious burns on more than 60 percent of her body. While the woman is reportedly still in a critical condition, it is unclear whether her babies are going to survive. 

Detroit Police Commander Michael McGinnis reportedly said that the victim had "traumatic injuries". "How do you do this to another human being? I can't—it's unimaginable," McGinnis said. "I did see pictures and I just...the pain she must be suffering, I can't imagine."

Sgt. Kayla Williams, who runs the Detroit Police Department's domestic violence unit, has confirmed that initially, a tipster reported the crime. The victim, who has not been named, decided to tell the officer about what happened even though she was fearful of Marsh's retaliation. "I want to applaud her for coming forward," Williams said. "I want to again let her know that she is not alone. She has the men and women of the Detroit Police Department to support her."

Marsh, who appeared in court earlier this week, remains in custody on a $5,000 bond. Since the bond was set at $50,000, which means 10 percent, he can post bail with $5,000.

The Colorado-based National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) states that nearly 20 people are physically abused by an intimate partner in the US every minute, on an average. This equates to over 10 million women and men in a single year. According to NCADV, domestic violence is "the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another." This includes physical violence, sexual violence, threats, and emotional abuse.