Woman Accused Of Flinging Flaming Hand Sanitizer During Fight Charged With Murder

The burning liquid sparked a deadly three-alarm blaze.

March 10, 2020

Destiny Waite with her defense attorney Joseph Elder [screenshot from WTNH]

Destiny Waite with her defense attorney Joseph Elder [screenshot from WTNH]

By: Aaron Rasmussen

A Connecticut woman who allegedly ignited a bottle of hand sanitizer and threw it at her girlfriend during a fight has been charged with felony murder after a three-alarm fire tore through their Hartford apartment building and killed a man.

According to an arrest warrant, Destiny Waite, 28, was in a domestic altercation about money with her unnamed girlfriend in their second-floor home around 1 a.m. Sunday when she lit and launched the sanitizer bottle, the Hartford Courant reported.

“The burning bottle of sanitizer splashed against the wall and flames began to spread,” the arrest warrant reads. “Some of the flaming sanitizer struck [the girlfriend’s] arms causing them to catch fire and burn. Destiny then left the bedroom and the apartment while yelling ‘I hope you die.’”

Police said the girlfriend’s mother was able to use a blanket to smother flames scorching her daughter’s clothing, but fire and smoke quickly spread throughout the five-story, 69-unit Charter Oak Apartments.

“When we looked out the door, you couldn't see anything,” building resident Yessenia Flores told Hartford’s WFSB-TV. “The smoke just took all the hallways, you couldn't see nothing when you walked out the door.”

Jerome Kyser, 50, died of smoke inhalation in the fire that seriously injured four tenants, including two children, and left dozens homeless.

In addition to felony murder, Waite faces charges of attempted murder, first-degree arson and four counts of first-degree assault.

Waite denied she was at the building when the massive blaze broke out, but her story kept changing, according to the warrant.

Defense attorney Joseph Elder argued at Waite’s arraignment on Monday that his client’s girlfriend harmed herself in order to frame Waite.

“It’s our position the one who committed this homicide is the one claiming to be the victim,” he insisted. “We believe there is sufficient evidence and information out there that over time [Waite] will be exonerated.”

Waite is being held in lieu of $1 million bail.

Read more: WVIT-TV

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