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Crime News Domestic Violence

Man Convicted Of Killing Ex-Girlfriend By Setting Her On Fire In Her Bedroom

A jury found Frank J. Bredt Jr., guilty of two counts of murder in the second degree for the 2018 death of Elisabeth Bell. Prosecutors said he doused her in gasoline and lit her on fire in her bedroom, injuring himself and her daughter in the process.

By Gina Tron

An upstate New York man has been convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend by dousing her in gasoline and setting her on fire during a domestic violence incident. 

A jury found Frank J. Bredt Jr., 33, guilty of two counts of murder in the second degree for the 2018 murder of 27-year-old Elisabeth Bell, WKBW reports.

During Bredt’s trial, prosecutors claimed that he attacked his ex inside her Buffalo home hours after she put his belongings out on the curb and posted about doing so on social media.

"That is what set him off," Prosecutor Rebecca Schnirel told the court.

Bredt, they said, doused Bell in gasoline and set her on fire in her bedroom. She died as a result, while Bell’s then-7-year-old daughter suffered non-fatal burns, The Buffalo News reported at the time.

Bredt, who used a wheelchair during his trial, suffered burns to about half his body as a result of the fire.

Elisabeth Bell Fb

The couple was in the midst of a breakup at the time of the murder and Bredt had stopped sleeping at the home about two weeks before the incident, after living with Bell for years.

Bredt's defense tried to unsuccessfully convince the jury that he didn’t set the fire and that there was no evidence that he did. They claimed that investigators decided he was guilty without proof. 

He now faces a maximum of 25 years to life in prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced on May 2.

Bell was an animal lover who spent her free time volunteering at an animal shelter. 

“This is one of the most horrific domestic violence homicide cases that has been prosecuted by my office,” Erie County District Attorney John Flynn stated following the conviction. “This defendant intentionally killed his girlfriend by burning her alive in her bedroom."

"I hope this defendant understands the excruciating pain that he caused this young mother after being severely burned as a result of his murderous actions," he added. "The family of Elisabeth Bell has waited a long time for justice and I hope they feel that justice has been served.”

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