Report: Chicago woman set on fire, dies one month later, husband accused of murder

chicago woman set on fire dies one month later husband charged with murder
Source: Chicago Police Department, Unsplash

May 29 2021, Published 12:42 p.m. ET

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A Chicago woman was set on fire by her husband and died one month later, police said. Her husband is now accused of her murder.

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Luevenia Gardner took off her burning clothes and jumped in the shower to put out the flames on April 16, police said.

Gardner then ran down two blocks to the Chicago Fire Department for help and started pounding on the door, according to authorities.

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Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said a Chicago Fire Department member noticed Gardner’s skin had melted over her fingernails and the plastic from her hair extensions had fused into her skin.

The Chicago Sun Times reported Gardner told firefighters that she knew her husband, Henry Taylor, would try to kill her and she “should have left him a long time ago.”

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Gardner suffered second- and third-degree burns to more than 70 percent of her body, police said.

On May 21, Gardner died at the University of Chicago Medical Center, where she had undergone skin graft surgery, authorities said.

Police said Taylor, 31, admitted to spraying Gardner with lighter fluid and then flicking a lighter at her.

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According to authorities, Taylor called Gardner’s family hours after setting her on fire and told them what he did.

After Gardner died, Taylor turned himself in to police on May 26 and again admitted to what he did in a videotaped interview, police said.

Murphy said Taylor told police “he wasn’t even that close to her and she went up in flames.”

Taylor was ordered held without bail and is expected back in court on June 15.


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