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Police: Man lit wife on fire during argument; woman suffered burns over nearly half her body

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OAKLAND COUNTY, Mich. — A Michigan man is facing an attempted murder charge after allegedly lighting his wife on fire during an argument.

James Montgomery, 48, was arraigned Saturday, Jan. 19 on one count of assault with intent to murder, while his 53-year-old wife remained in critical condition with significant burns over nearly half of her body.

According to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, the couple was fighting during the early morning hours of Thursday, Jan. 17 in their residence on Jordan Street in Pontiac, Michigan when Montgomery doused his wife with brandy.

He then “flicked” his lighter and caused it to spark, igniting her clothes on fire, police said.

Investigators learned of the incident around 1:30 a.m. Thursday, when the woman showed up at a hospital and told staff she had been set on fire.

Montgomery, who was arrested in the waiting room at the hospital, initially told police his wife accidentally poured alcohol on herself and dropped a lit cigarette. His wife disputed that at the hospital.

The woman suffered second-degree burns over 45 percent of her body. She was listed in critical but stable condition at Detroit Receiving Hospital over the weekend.

Montgomery remained in the Oakland County Jail after arraignment on a $1 million cash bond. He is awaiting another court appearance on Jan. 29.

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