A Virginia man is being held in a case that left a female acquaintance badly burned. 45 year old James Edward Anderson was riding in the passenger seat of a vehicle with a 37 year old female driver and her 12 year old daughter in the back seat.
Anderson allegedly got angry and sprayed the victim with a flammable liquid before throwing a match on her. According to this article from MyFoxDC.com the victim was able to remove her clothing and the child was able to get out of the vehicle before Anderson left the scene in the car.
The victim flagged down a passing motorist who assisted by calling authorities.
What’s not clear is the relationship between Anderson and the victim. The article states that charges have not yet been filed so we can’t say with 100% certainty that this was a domestic assault.
Under Virginia law, a domestic offense doesn’t have to be between two people who are married. If they were in a romantic relationship, this could be a domestic assault.
Even if the two were simply acquaintances, the use of fire in this offense makes it especially heinous. Depending on the extent of the victim’s injuries, there is a chance Anderson could face charges of malicious wounding.
This offense carries a potential sentence of 20 year in prison. If it is determined that the victim could face permanent physical damage, he could face an even more serious charge of aggravated malicious wounding, which carries a potential life sentence.
Other things that may play into the charges Anderson faces and the sentence he may have to serve include his criminal history and the intent of his actions. If it is determined he planned this assault ahead of time, it could exacerbate his charges as well.
Facing charges of domestic assault or malicious wounding is a very serious event. When looking at spending that kind of time behind bars, an experienced attorney is needed to assist with the case.
If you are facing charges of assault and are concerned about the potential outcome, call me today to discuss the details of your case. I can give you some legal advice and perhaps we can work together to make the most of the situation you are in.