Thursday, April 15, 2021

Columbia man who doused ex with gas and set her on fire gets 70 years in prison


A Columbia man was sentenced to 70 years in prison for committing a “horrific crime of domestic violence,” the 11th Circuit Solicitor said.

The State

Robert Rome Green, 48, doused his sleeping ex with gasoline and set her on fire, the solicitor’s office said Monday in a news release.

Last Friday in a Lexington County courtroom, Green was convicted on charges of attempted murder and first-degree arson after a five-day jury trial, according to the release.

Circuit Court Judge Debra McCaslin sentenced Green to 30 years in prison on the attempted murder charge, and 40 years on the count of arson, the solicitor’s office said. The sentences will be served consecutively, and Green is not eligible for parole, according to the release.

On Aug. 20, 2019, the woman was asleep in her Cayce home in the 700 block of Lexington Avenue when Green entered her bedroom armed with a gas can and lighter, the solicitor’s office said. That’s about a mile from the Blossom Street bridge and the Congaree River.

During testimony, the victim said she woke to Green pouring gas on her, and struggled to get away but was overpowered by her ex, according to the release.

While holding her down, Green then put a lighter to her face and ignited it, the solicitor’s office said.

Although she was engulfed in fire, the victim ran away to a neighbor’s home for help, where multiple people came to her aid and called 911, according to the release.

“A neighborhood security camera captured the victim’s screams and the frantic sound of knocking on a neighbor’s door,” it said in the release.

The victim was severely injured with 2nd and 3rd degree burns to over 60% of her body — including her face, scalp, torso, back, abdomen, and arms, the solicitor’s office said. She was rushed to the Prisma Richland Trauma Unit and then transferred to the Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta for critical care treatment.

She remained hospitalized in Augusta for more than four months, spending the majority of that time in critical condition and on a ventilator, according to the release.

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