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Man accused of assaulting woman, setting residence on fire

arson pic

Decatur firefighters work the scene of a mobile home fire on Regal Court on Wednesday night.

DECATUR — A 22-year-old Decatur man was arrested Wednesday after allegedly setting the residence he shared with his girlfriend on fire.

In addition to arson, Devin Barr is accused of assaulting his girlfriend, according to Decatur police. Police were called to the home at 20 Regal Court shortly after 8 p.m., officer Charles Lane wrote in a sworn statement.

The victim had been living with Barr for about six months before they started arguing that evening, Lane wrote. The argument spanned about two hours before police arrived.

During the argument, the suspect allegedly threw the victim's phone to the ground, shattering the glass on the screen, before he spit in her face, Lane said. He then is accused of pushing the victim as she tried to walk away, resulting in her falling into a wall. He then tried to choke her, Lane said.

Neighbors then tried to assist the victim, who called the police for help.

One of the neighbors told police Barr was seen near the back bedroom of the home pouring gasoline from a gas can. The neighbor retrieved dogs that were still inside, Lane said.

As the neighbor was exiting, Barr was heading back inside with a lighter seen sticking out of his hand, Lane said. Police arrived as the neighbor was placing the dog into a vehicle.

Lane saw the suspect exiting the residence before he was arrested. The building erupted into a fire only minutes after the man exited, Lane said.

Barr was found to have a lighter in his pocket, and his clothes smelled of gasoline, Lane said. The back bedroom of the residence was severely burned, with two walls of the room nearly completely burned down, Lane said.

The victim was treated at a hospital for injuries, including a broken nose.

Lane said Barr told police he did not remember the incident after starting drinking beer and whiskey about 1 p.m. that afternoon.

Barr is facing preliminary charges of aggravated battery, domestic battery with a prior conviction, aggravated domestic battery, residential arson and criminal damage to property.

He was previously convicted of violating an order of protection and aggravated battery.


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