Police: Hillsboro man sprayed ex with gas, set her on fire
By Emma Daniel
For the Enquirer
PRICEVILLE — A Hillsboro man was arrested last week for “luring” his 19-year-old ex-girlfriend into Priceville before spraying her with gasoline and setting her on fire, according to Priceville authorities.
Marquise Antwan Wayns, 22, turned himself in Thursday, according to Priceville Mayor Sam Heflin, and was charged by Priceville police with attempted murder. Attempted murder is a Class A felony punishable by up to life in prison.
Heflin said after the victim was sprayed with gasoline from a water bottle Tuesday and set on fire, she ran to a neighbor’s house for help. The neighbor called 911.
“Wayns lured his ex-girlfriend … to North Bethel Road under false pretense,” according to an affidavit filed by police in Morgan County District Court.
Priceville emergency services responded “within a matter of minutes,” Heflin said. The incident was initially reported as a brush fire before more information was obtained.
First responders found the victim on a couch at the neighbor’s residence, said Priceville Volunteer Fire Department Chief Charles Black.
“She wasn’t talking a whole lot,” he said. “She was in a lot of pain, but she was alert and conscious.”
She was transported to Priceville High School, where a helicopter arrived to take her to the burn unit at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, Black said.
While she has a long recovery ahead of her, she is in stable condition, Heflin said.
She had burns on the back of her neck, the top of her head and on her face, Heflin and Black said.
According to Priceville police, the incident occurred at a residence on North Bethel Road near Priceville High at about 9 p.m. Tuesday.
“For somebody to do this, it has to be pure evil,” Heflin said. “There’s no reasoning behind it. I don’t understand.”
He said the victim provided police with Wayns’ name, warrants were obtained and Wayns was in custody within 24 hours of the incident.
Wayns remained in Morgan County Jail on Friday in lieu of $200,000 bond. Conditions of his bond include that he have no contact with the victim and that he wear an ankle monitor.
According to court documents, Wayns on Friday requested a court-appointed attorney. Court documents say he also has requested a bond reduction hearing, as he claimed he is financially unable to make bail. The bond hearing and a preliminary hearing are scheduled for Jan. 24 before Morgan County District Judge Shelly Slate Waters. Griff Belser was appointed as Wayns’ attorney.
Paris Terry said she went to high school at East Lawrence High School with Wayns around 2018. She said she and many other classmates saw videos he posted of him playing with gasoline.
“He would always post videos of him going around jumping on people’s cars, him at gas stations pouring gas in his mouth, and pouring it on cars,” Terry said.
Wayns has a YouTube channel where he has posted videos of himself napping in a busy roadway and a fast food restaurant drive-thru, and holding up a vulgar sign in Decatur traffic.
Heflin said all of Priceville wants the victim to get better and for the suspect to be prosecuted.
“I hope she makes a full recovery, and we’re praying for her,” he said. “The guy that did this will get his day in court. Once that goes through, we might find out the reasoning why, but I can’t understand why someone would do something like this.”