Netzer acquitted in case that accused him of lighting woman on fire

Published 3:32 pm Thursday, November 10, 2022

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An Albert Lea man accused of lighting a woman on fire inside an Albert Lea house last December has been acquitted of felony first-degree assault.

Logan Netzer

Logan Michael Netzer was charged with intentionally throwing an ignitable liquid on Kristin Anderson, who sustained third-degree burns to her hands, as well as burns on other portions of her body.

The jury went into deliberations late Thursday morning and came back with the verdict just a few hours later.

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The incident took place on Dec. 22, 2021, and resulted in the total loss of a home at 116 W. Seventh St. According to Minnesota State Fire Marshal Investigator Ron Rahman, evidence at the scene was consistent with a person throwing an ignitable liquid on someone laying on the eastern portion of the couch in the living room and then starting that person on fire. That side of the couch was completely destroyed except for the springs.

Prosecutor Abigail Lambert during her closing arguments said the evidence corroborated what Anderson said took place prior to the fire.

Netzer’s lawyer, Tayler Rahm, argued that Anderson’s statements did not line up and alleged that she was the one who had actually started the fire.

Albert Lea officers who responded to the house that day said Anderson was scared, traumatized and in pain in the garage when they arrived, and when Netzer was far enough away, she told officers he had started her on fire, Lambert said. She claimed Netzer had thrown a concoction he had made onto her — which at later times was described as a homemade napalm — and then lit her on fire. The incident happened after they got into an argument after he called her his wife’s name during sexual intercourse.

Though Anderson had admitted to using heroin earlier in the day — and said that Netzer used methamphetamine — she was coherent and did not seem to be under the influence, the prosecutor said, referencing testimony from Officer Megan Evers with the Albert Lea Police Department.

Anderson was later transported to Regions Hospital in St. Paul, underwent a skin graft on her hand, was unable to use her hand for months and still deals with intermittent pain.

A Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension scientist said Anderson’s sweatshirt tested positive for gasoline and Tetrahydrofuran, a common solvent in PVC primers and cement, and hardened material found on her sweatshirt tested positive for polystyrene, a substance found in styrofoam. Netzer’s T-shirt tested positive for gasoline and acetone, a common solvent found in nail polish remover.

Rahm throughout the trial questioned Anderson’s inconsistencies in her testimony and in the statements she gave to police. He also questioned the information about the incident that she did not remember and pointed out she also had meth and Oxycodone in her system, as well as other drugs.

He said though Anderson could not remember many things about the incident, she could, however, remember what was in the concoction, as well as details about the butane torch used to light the fire. Rahm said there were no facts to disregard that the torch wasn’t in her hand to start the fire.

He also questioned who had motive to light the fire, saying Anderson was the one who was upset with Netzer, and claimed that because of that, that is why her story was so vague.

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