ST. PAUL (WCCO) — A 55-year-old man was sentenced to 12 years in prison Thursday for dousing his girlfriend’s 19-year-old son with lighter fluid and setting him on fire last summer.

Curtis Edwin Reed, of St. Paul, received a stiffer punishment due to the nature of the crime.

“This is an unspeakably horrific assault that caused the victim great bodily harm,” said County Attorney John Choi in a press release. “We are pleased that the judge delivered an extra measure of justice in this case.”

According to a criminal complaint, police were called to a home on the 1300 block of Ames Avenue before 7 a.m. on July 20, 2011. Officers found the victim, Antoine Willis, suffering from severe burns to his head, face, neck, hands and torso. Willis said he had intervened in an argument between his mother and Reed that morning.

He said Reed then squirted lighter fluid on him while he was sleeping on a couch and set him on fire. When he tried to flee while on fire, Willis said Reed followed him and continued to spray him with lighter fluid.

Willis was taken to Regions Hospital, where medical staff said his injuries would be permanent, especially on his hands, face and neck. He suffered second- and third-degree burns.


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