Charges upgraded in woman’s burning death

stacia.glenn@thenewstribune.comJune 17, 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 initially brought 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 in the 7600 block of 159th Street East in South Hill. After Reyes fled in a pickup truck, Bazan ran outside for help and neighbors used hoses to extinguish the flames.

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

Reyes told detectives he meant only 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.

He said he got the gas can out but it spilled all over both of them. Reyes said he then got out a lighter and thought about lighting himself on fire but dropped the lighter, igniting them both, court documents state.

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

Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653 stacia.glenn@thenewstribune.com

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