Charges upgraded against South Hill man who allegedly set girlfriend on fire

Staff writerJune 16, 2014 

Pierce County prosecutors on Monday upgraded charges against a South Hill man who allegedly set fire to his girlfriend, who later died of her injuries.

Angel Reyes, 39, pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, first-degree arson and resisting arrest. Charges of attempted murder and assault were dropped.

Reyes allegedly doused Maria Bazan with gasoline during a May 1 argument at their home in the Hidden Glen Mobile Park. After he fled in a pickup truck, Bazan ran outside for help and neighbors used hoses to extinguish the flames.

Bazan, 34, died nearly three weeks after the incident.

Reyes told detectives he only meant to intimidate his girlfriend with the gas can and was upset because he believed she had reconnected with an ex-boyfriend, according to charging papers.

The woman’s son told sheriff’s deputies Reyes had threatened her in the past.

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