Kenneth Upshaw Memphis TN man sets girlfriend on fire trying to break up with him. Victim identified as Rebecca Briggs suffers burns to 16% of her body. History of ongoing domestic violence.
A Memphis man has been accused of pouring gasoline on his girlfriend and setting her on fire with a lit cigarette after she tried to break up with him according to reports.
Kenneth Upshaw, 38, was arrested and charged with attempted second degree murder on Thursday following the incident, which the girlfriend survived WREG reported.
The woman, identified as Rebecca Briggs was reportedly in fair condition and recovering at the Regional Medical Center with second-degree to deep second-degree burns to her face, neck, chest, and arms.
FOX13 reported the woman having 16% of her body was burned during the attack.
Police said the victim was standing near a vehicle in a driveway of an acquaintance’s home in East Memphis on Oct. 8 when she told Upshaw that she was breaking up with him, the outlet reported.
Ongoing history of domestic violence
According to an affidavit obtained by ABC 24, the victim said that Upshaw told her, ‘if he could not be with her, then no one would,’ before splashing her with gasoline and tossing a lit cigarette at her, setting her on fire.
Upshaw and the homeowner put the fire out.
The homeowner said he did not know what was happening until someone told him there was a fire in his driveway.
‘It was pretty bad. I mean, it burned the whole back end and part of the back driver’s side and started to get where the gas tank is, and I thought it was going to explode,’ the man, who declined to be identified, told WREG.
According to court documents, the couple — who share a child together — have a history of domestic violence, including an incident in 2019 in which Upshaw punched his pregnant girlfriend in the stomach so hard she underwent an emergency c-section one month before the baby was due.
Relatives told the outlet the woman faces a long road to recovery.
Upshaw awaits his first court appearance on Friday.