Woman arrested for killing man by lighting him on fire, causing Mesa blaze, police say
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- A woman is now facing felony charges after police say she poured gas on a man and lit him on fire, killing him, and sparking a blaze at a Mesa apartment last month. Officers say 40-year-old Stephanie Williams was arrested on Tuesday evening.
On June 8, firefighters were called out to a fire and explosion at an apartment at Arizona Golf Resort, near Broadway and Power roads. When firefighters arrived, they found Wallace Robinson covered in third-degree burns on over 60% of his body. Investigators said he was placed in a medical coma but died on June 25, more than two weeks after the fire. Williams was also taken to the hospital with burns on her hands, arms, face and legs and was put into a medically-induced coma. Court documents say while Williams was being taken to the hospital, she kept saying, “I had to do it. He was going to kill me.”
Firefighters began investigating the cause of the fire. According to court paperwork, firefighters found out it started on the bed where Robinson was lying naked. Detectives say Williams doused him with gasoline and lit him on fire. The smell of gas was found in the apartment, Williams’ car, gloves, mattress pad and burned fabric. A gas can also was found hidden behind a bush near another apartment, which is where Williams ran to get help, investigators said. Firefighters say since Williams and Robinson were the only ones in the room where the fire started, they determined Williams lit Robinson on fire because of his injuries.
The investigation also found there were several domestic violence calls over two years, with several leading up to the fire. Court paperwork says in one incident, Robinson told police Williams lit a rug on fire in the room. However, investigators said Williams told officers Robinson squirted lighter fluid on her and lit her on fire, even though she had no injuries.
As Williams woke up from a medical coma, police were able to talk to her on Tuesday. Court documents say Williams told police she remembered being on fire and breaking a window to escape. She also recalled a woman pouring water on her and riding in the ambulance to the hospital. However, she told officers she didn’t remember when gas was poured on Robinson and lit. After police interviewed her, she tried to leave the hospital in the middle of the night but was arrested. Williams was booked on one count of first-degree murder and one count of arson.
Copyright 2022 KTVK/KPHO. All rights reserved.