Minneapolis man doused woman with gas, set on fire

Published 8:00 pm Saturday, September 30, 2017

MINNEAPOLIS  — A Minneapolis man was charged with murder Friday after prosecutors said he doused his girlfriend’s bed with gas while she was asleep and then set it on fire, killing her.

As Vanessa Danielson was being rushed to the hospital Thursday with severe burns, she told paramedics that she woke up and was burning in her bed.

A neighbor who heard her screaming went outside, saw her on fire “from head to toe” and covered her with a blanket to put out the flames, a criminal complaint said. The 36-year-old woman died later at a hospital.

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Wyndale Fayson, 32, was charged Friday in Hennepin County District Court. He hasn’t made an initial court appearance yet because he was also hospitalized with burns. It’s not clear if he has an attorney to comment on his behalf.

Prosecutors said Fayson had threatened to kill Danielson about four hours before the incident.

According to the criminal complaint, Danielson had called police at 2:45 a.m. Thursday to say Fayson had come to her apartment and became angry. She said he grabbed her cellphone and smashed it, then said “he would kill her and that he would set the place on fire,” according to the complaint. Fayson also allegedly said he would use gasoline to douse the house. Fayson was gone when police arrived.

But around 6:40 a.m., police were called back to the same address about a report of a woman screaming. They arrived to find Danielson’s apartment on fire. She was outside on the ground. Her whole body was severely burned.

According to a press release, Fayson was found about three blocks away on his hands and knees, screaming. The complaint said he was also burned, smelled of gasoline and was heard saying that he should not have gone back to the house.