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Crime News Breaking News

Man Allegedly Doused Ex With Gasoline And Lit Her On Fire After She Put His Belongings On Curb

Frank J. Bredt Jr. has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of Elisabeth Bell.

By Gina Tron
Elisabeth Bell Fb

An upstate New York jury has been told that a man doused his ex-girlfriend in gasoline and lit her on fire after she put some of his items out on the curb. 

Frank J. Bredt Jr., 33, is currently on trial for the 2018 murder of 27-year-old Elisabeth Bell.

On Tuesday, Bell’s brother Altemoos testified that he was present when his sibling was fatally set ablaze inside her Buffalo home, The Buffalo News reportsHe said he heard Bell’s then-7-year-old child scream before Bredt ran down the stairs "fully engulfed in fire."

Prosecutors say that Bredt caught fire after he doused Bell in gasoline and set her on fire in her bedroom. She died as a result while both Bredt and her daughter Isabella suffered non-fatal burns, The Buffalo News reported at the time.

The fatal fire occurred as the couple was in the midst of breaking up, prosecutors say. Just hours before the alleged attack, Bell put Bredt's belongings out on the curb, assistant district attorney Rebecca Schnirel said; Bell also posted about tossing such items, including power tools, on Facebook, The Buffalo News reports. 

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

She characterized the couple’s relationship as toxic. Bredt stopped sleeping at the home about two weeks before the incident after living with Bell for years.

Bredt now faces two counts of second-degree murder for the death of Bell, an animal lover who spent her free time volunteering at an animal shelter. His defense maintains that he didn’t set the fire and that there is no evidence that he did. They claim that investigators decided he was guilty without proof. 

"They started with their picture. Their picture was Frank Bredt, the arsonist," his lawyer Brian Parker (who is representing him along with co-attorney Daniel DuBois) said in court. "And what didn't fit, they brushed it aside. If it didn't match their theory, they ignored it."

The attorney also noted that his client, who appeared in court this week in a wheelchair, suffered burns to about half his body.