ATLANTA,None — A man accused of pouring gasoline on his girlfriend and setting her on fire has been found guilty of the crime.
A jury convicted 30-year-old Orville Brooks on Friday afternoon. Police said Brooks saturated his 21-year-old girlfriend, Tara Best, with gasoline after the two argued in their apartment last year. He was convicted on eight counts, including false imprisonment and criminal intent to commit murder. He was acquitted of an arson charge.
During her closing argument, Clayton County District Attorney Tracy Graham Lawson said that Brooks ran from the scene after setting the fire in the Brookstone Apartments.
Lawson told the jury, "Guilty people run. Innocent people stay."
She also told the jury that testimony from a friend who said Brooks confessed to him is additional proof.
"'I poured gas and I lit her on fire,' that's what Mr. Saxon said," Lawson reminded the panel.
Best suffered burns over 70 percent of her body and was on life support for three months after the fire.
Assistant District Attorney Mike Thurston recounted for the jury how Brooks beat Best and then pushed her into a bathtub and began pouring the gasoline.
"She's looking up at him striking that match as she's engulfed in flames," Thurston said.
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