New charges for man in lighter-fluid case

Man charged with trying to ignite girlfriend faces new charges for alleged punching incident

Posted: Friday, February 28, 2003

New charges have been added in the case of a man who allegedly doused his girlfriend with lighter fluid and threatened to set her on fire earlier this month. Police said the alleged attack may have been drug-induced.

Timothy Nelson, 23, was arraigned on a felony charge of third-degree assault and misdemeanor charges of fourth-degree assault, reckless endangerment and resisting arrest.

He earlier was charged with third-degree domestic violence assault and resisting arrest. A Juneau grand jury indicted Nelson Feb. 21 on the additional charges.

Nelson is accused of severely beating a woman, 21, dousing her with lighter fluid and attempting to elude police. The woman's name was not released.

The new charges stem from an accusation Nelson punched the woman while she held Nelson's 2-year-old daughter.

Nelson pleaded innocent to all charges in Juneau Superior Court on Tuesday. The public defender agency is representing Nelson, but its representatives were unavailable for comment by the Empire's midday deadline.

The prosecution stated its case in court documents.

The woman told police Nelson had been gone for two days before the alleged incident. When he came back around 5:30 a.m. Feb. 16, she said, he started punching her in the face. She tried to block his blows, the record said, and fell. She curled up on the floor to protect herself. She told police she then felt something cold on her back. She looked up and allegedly saw Nelson pouring lighter fluid on her with one hand and holding a lighter in the other.

According to the record, Nelson threatened to set her on fire. Then Nelson's daughter ran into the room, the record said. The woman stood and picked up the child. Nelson punched the woman, knocking her down. The child fell to the floor, according to the record.

Nelson grabbed the child and the woman ran to a neighbor's house to phone police. The confrontation lasted 30 minutes, the court record said.

When police arrived, the record said, officers saw the woman sitting on the front porch of the apartment with bumps on her head and crying. Police entered the residence to question Nelson, who was holding his daughter. The record said Nelson denied hitting the woman but admitted he held her down by her wrists. When police asked Nelson to put his daughter down, he ran into a bedroom. Police eventually pinned Nelson and arrested him.

Police said they noticed what looked like needle marks on his arm and suspected his behavior was related to drug use.

A spokeswoman for Bartlett Regional Hospital said the woman came into the hospital with a head injury and wrist injury. The child was not admitted to the hospital.

Nelson is lodged at the Lemon Creek Correctional Center.

Melanie Plenda can be reached

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