Weatherford Democrat

June 11, 2014

Man charged with setting woman on fire


Weatherford Democrat

WEATHERFORD — By CHRISTIN COYNE

AZLE — A 37-year-old woman was reported to be in critical condition last week with burns covering more than 30 percent of her body after a Parker County man reportedly doused her with gasoline and set her on fire.

Mark Morgan Upchurch, 32, was charged with aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury and, as of Monday afternoon, was being held on $100,000 bond in the Parker County Jail.

According to the Parker County Sheriff’s Office, medical staff at Harris Southwest Hospital in Azle contacted authorities about a woman with severe burns who had been brought in by a neighbor.

The man reportedly told hospital staff that the woman told him that Upchurch set her on fire and it was not an accident.

He told sheriff’s deputies that he saw the woman running down the driveway, screaming, “Mark set me on fire!”

He observed the woman’s skin peeling off and immediately drove her to the hospital, the sheriff’s office reported.

The woman, whose name was not released, was transported by helicopter to Parkland Hospital due to the possible life-threatening burns.

Her injuries include first and second-degree burns on her legs, back, abdomen, arms and groin.

Upchurch approached deputies, yelling aggressively when investigators arrived in the 1500 block of Riverbend Street near Azle, according to the sheriff’s office.

“I think I know why y’all are here – because what I did to my girlfriend when I lost my mind,” Upchurch reportedly said to deputies.

A 2005 black Saturn car in the driveway was dripping with water and the rear seat was charred from a fire, the sheriff’s office reported. They also located two other freshly burned locations in the yard and seized two empty gasoline cans and a propane torch from the residence.

Upchurch also had multiple warrants out of Arlington, Grand Prairie and Burleson police departments, according to the sheriff’s office.