- Mini Penny
A Talihina woman is recovering in an Oklahoma City Hospital after being set on fire by her boyfriend Saturday night.
Donnie L. Harris Jr., 29, of Talihina, was arrested for first degree arson on Sunday after an investigation by Oklahoma State Fire Marshal Investigator Tony Rust.
According to Rust, Harris, along with his girlfriend, three other adults and a child had been inside the home when the incident occurred. Rust stated in a phone interview that Harris had used an ignitable substance to set his girlfriend on fire which subsequently caused a house fire.
Harris' girlfriend, later identified as Kristi D. Ferguson, 24, of Pocola, reportedly ran from the home after Harris' family attempted to extinguish the fire with water but only managed to cause the fire to spread. According to Rust, Ferguson ran to a neighbors home where she received help until an ambulance could arrive.
Ferguson was transported by LeFlore County Emergency Medical Services to a McAlester hospital and was later flown to Baptist Medical Center Burn Unit in OK City. Ferguson reportedly suffered second and third degree burns to more than 80 percent of her body. No of the other occupants of the home were injured in the incident.
According to Rust, the reason for Harris' actions are unknown at this time and the incident is still under investigation. Evidence from the crime scene has been sent to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab to confirm what ignitable substance was used by Harris to start the fire.
Harris, who was being held without bond, appeared before LeFlore County Special Judge Jeff Singer Tuesday afternoon for a bond hearing. Singer set Harris' bond at $500,000.
If Harris is convicted of first degree arson in the burning of Ferguson he could face up to 35 years in the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. First Degree Arson is considered a violent crime which would require Harris serve a minimum of 85 percent of his sentence before becoming eligible for parole.