Detroit man facing 11 charges on claims of burning, assaulting pregnant girlfriend

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office is upping charges against a Detroit man accused of assaulting and setting his pregnant live-in girlfriend on fire. 

Prosecutors initially charged Devonne Marsh, 41, with kidnapping, aggravated/felonious assault as well as violation of the Controlled Substances Act. 

He was arraigned Tuesday in 36th District Court and his bond was set at $50,000, 10%.

However, the next day, "more complete reports were presented to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office," officials with the office said Friday. "Today, the original case was dismissed in court and a new case has been issued in this case."

Marsh is now charged with one count of assault with intent to murder, delivery or manufacturing of a controlled substance, assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder, felonious assault, assault and battery of a pregnant individual, and domestic violence. 

He also faces three counts of felon in possession and two counts of felon firearm, prosecutors said. 

“The evidence in this case will show that the defendant set his live-in girlfriend on fire after an altercation with her. She was six months pregnant with twins,” Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said. “After receiving further evidence, we have dismissed our original charges and immediately reissued charges against him. His original bond was woefully inadequate, and we will be seeking a more appropriate bond given these charges."

Police were dispatched for a welfare check at a home on Packard around 10:40 p.m. Jan. 14 in response to a tip that a woman was being held against her will and tortured, the police department said in a statement. 

"Officers discovered the female laying on a bed in the basement with severe burns on her legs and stomach and could barely move," according to the release.

Investigators believe Marsh poured lighter fluid on the 31-year-old woman and set her ablaze after an argument escalated, the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office said.

"How do you do this to another human being? It’s unimaginable," added Detroit Police Cmdr. Michael McGinnis. "Just incredibly traumatic injuries. I just can’t imagine the pain she must be suffering.”

Devonne Marsh

Marsh is in custody and faces arraignment at 10:30 a.m. Monday at 36th District Court through Zoom, the prosecutor's office said.