Man sets girlfriend on fire

Sunday, March 18, 2018
The Earnhart Street home where a woman suffered burns after her boyfriend poured lighter fluid on her and ignited a blaze Thursday night.
T-G Photo by David Melson

A woman intentionally set afire by her boyfriend Thursday night is beginning the recovery process at Vanderbilt Medical Center, while he is in Bedford County Jail with a high bond.

Rodney Lee Davis, 57, is charged with aggravated domestic assault and aggravated arson after the fire at their Earnhart Street home. He was arrested at mid-morning Friday and charged a short time later following an interview in which he confessed, Detective Lt. Brian Crews of the Shelbyville Police Department said. Bond is set at $300,000.

The victim suffered serious burns to areas including her face, neck, arms and upper torso, Crews said. She was in stable condition at Vanderbilt, where she was flown after initial treatment at Tennova Healthcare-Shelbyville, at last report, Crews said.


Home burns

“She was lying on an air mattress and he cut a hole in it,” Crews said. “She went to a couch and he doused her, the couch and that area of the house with lighter fluid and set it on fire.”

The victim ran to her parents’ home next door for help, police said.

“It initially came out as a medical call,” Crews said. “The ambulance crew got there, recognized the house was on fire and called the fire department.”

Davis and the victim, who is “around 50,” have a long history of domestic violence, according to Crews.

“He was facing a 30-day jail sentence” from a January incident, Crews said.