Attorney Accused of Setting Girlfriend on Fire

Updated: 04/08/2014 10:46 AM
Created: 04/08/2014 5:40 AM
By: Jennie Olson

A Minnesota attorney is accused of setting his girlfriend on fire in his Burnsville condominium.
Sixty-year-old David Gherity is charged with first-degree assault and two counts of first-degree arson.
According to the complaint, the woman lost an ear in the Feb. 9 fire and also suffered burns to her scalp, face, neck, legs and one hand. She remains in the burn unit at HCMC.
The complaint says an analysis of the woman's clothes found alcohol for drinking, lotion "and possibly hair spray and fingernail polish remover." The woman, who was in a medically induced coma until March 7, told police she does not use hair spray, nail polish or remover.

The complaint said Burnsville firefighters first responded to the condominium located on the 12000 block of Parkwood Drive on a report of a smoke alarm. When crews arrives, they found the victim on fire.

She was transported to the hospital. The complaint said medical personnel reported that Gherity smelled like smoke and had soot on him when he arrived.

He apparently asked if his girlfriend had a health care directive, the complaint said. When he was told she did not, he said he would write one up for the victim to sign, the complaint said. Medical officials said the victim would not sign anything because she was medicated.
The Star Tribune reports Gherity remains in jail with bail set at $50,000, with conditions. Defense attorney Robert Miller believes his client will be vindicated.

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Sixty-year-old David Gherity
Photo: Dakota County Sheriff's Office

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