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Texas Woman Accused Of Setting Boyfriend On Fire At Gas Station

Witnesses said they heard Breana Johnson say, "I'm going to kill you," before she poured gasoline into the backseat of her Jeep — where her boyfriend, Ricky Doyle, was seated — and set him on fire. 

By Jax Miller
A police handout of Breana Johnson

A woman in Texas is facing murder charges after allegedly setting her boyfriend on fire in what authorities say was a case of domestic violence.

Breana Lashanda Johnson, 24, is accused of setting fire to her boyfriend, Ricky Doyle, 25, at an Arlington gas station on July 18, resulting in Johnson’s arrest for aggravated assault the following day, according to a police statement and arrest affidavit reviewed by Oxygen.com.

Ricky Doyle’s sister reportedly called police at around 8:46 p.m. on July 18 to report a domestic violence incident between Johnson and her brother, according to the affidavit. The sister — who was not named — said Johnson had struck Doyle inside Johnson’s white Jeep Patriot before the pair drove away from an Arlington residence.

Shortly thereafter, Arlington Police received several reports about a man on fire outside an E-Z Mart Shell gas station on East Mayfield Road.

The Arlington Fire Department and EMS paramedics responded to the scene. By then, bystanders had extinguished the fire, though Doyle “suffered burns across most of his body.” He was rushed to an area hospital by ambulance and listed in critical condition before being transported by helicopter to a burn unit.

“Officers spoke with multiple witnesses who advised they initially observed the suspect and victim arguing while in the white Jeep Patriot, which was parked near a gas pump,” according to the affidavit, which was signed by Det. K. Vickers. “One witness overheard the suspect tell the victim while he was in the back seat, ‘I’m going to kill you.’”

Police say Johnson then walked into the gas station and purchased 50 cents worth of gas while Doyle remained in the vehicle.

Witnesses said Johnson returned to her car a short time later and began pumping gasoline into the backseat, where Doyle was seated. She then walked to the driver’s seat of the Jeep and set the fire with an “unknown” ignition source.

“Several witnesses then observed the victim quickly exit the vehicle and was completely [engulfed] in flames,” the affidavit stated. “The victim ran throughout the parking lot attempting to extinguish the flames before another witness used a fire extinguisher on him.”

Police say Doyle then walked into the gas station where “multiple witnesses” tried to render first aid. The victim was “bleeding” and “had skin that appeared to have melted from his body.”

Witnesses reportedly tried to place Johnson under citizen’s arrest as Johnson allegedly blamed the fire on Doyle smoking a cigarette.

One witness confronted Johnson and was “pushed down” after trying to stop her from leaving.

Bystanders claimed Johnson returned to her Jeep and was “smiling as she fled the scene,” police stated.

Det. Vickers said video footage later reviewed by police supported the witnesses' statements.

Authorities could not immediately locate Johnson at the scene but arrested her on assault charges the next day. She was booked into the Tarrant County Jail, where she is still being held on $50,000 bond for the assault charges.

Those charges are expected to change soon, as Doyle has since succumbed to his injuries at a Collin County hospital.

“On Aug. 2, 2022, the Arlington Police Department was notified that the victim of a recent domestic violence incident who was set on fire and severely burned died from his injuries,” police said in a statement e-mailed to Oxygen.com. “As a result, the case is now being investigated as a homicide.”

Jail records reviewed by Oxygen.com Thursday afternoon show Johnson’s charges hadn't yet been changed.

Police said Johnson has a history of previous convictions, including evading arrest, possession of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana. She was also named in a previous domestic violence complaint involving Doyle, though the circumstances of that event were not disclosed.

The Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office declined to provide a comment to Oxygen.com.