Reporting Reg Chapman
ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – A St. Paul teenager set on a fire by a man he trusted is experiencing betrayal once again.
Last July, Antoine Willis suffered second and third-degree burns after police said his mother’s boyfriend doused him with lighter fluid and set him on fire.
Antoine’s uncle set up an account so people could donate money for his medical bills. That uncle, Jerry Stewart, and Antoine’s mother, Jodie Stewart, are accused of stealing the money intended to help him.
Antoine Willis showed us back in July the extent of his injuries after his mother’s boyfriend doused him with lighter fluid and set him on fire. Now he is nursing the pain in his heart after learning his mother, and uncle may be responsible from taking money donated to help pay his medical bills.
“We’re alleging that the burn victims uncle and mother together went to two different banks, one in South St. Paul and one in Woodbury. Each had accounts set up for the benefit for this young man who had been seriously injured and withdrew $2,500,” said Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom.
Both were with Willis when he told WCCO-TV how he was attacked by Curtis Reed, the man his mother dated for eight years.
“I’m totally in shock I’m with a man for eight years and he would do something to your family like this,” Jodi Stewart said at the time.
Police said the pair was caught on video taking the money out of the bank and spent it at a casino. A warrant has been issued for Jodi Stewart, and Jerry Stewart is currently behind bars.
Backstrom said since Jerry Stewart has a long record, if found guilty, he could be labeled a career criminal and given the maximum sentence, which is five years in prison. Jodi Stewart faces a year in jail.