Woman charged in burning husband

November 25, 1993|By Glenn Small | Glenn Small,Staff Writer

A 30-year-old Rosedale woman was held without bail last night on charges of first-degree murder and arson after police said she doused her sleeping husband with charcoal fluid and set him on fire.

Police said Patricia Ann Hawkins told them she was the victim of spousal abuse and wanted to kill her husband before he killed her.

"I did it," Mrs. Hawkins, the mother of two, allegedly told officers who arrived at her home about 4:35 a.m. yesterday in the 6100 block of Marquette Road.

Milton Hawkins, 32, suffered third-degree burns over 60 percent of his body, mostly his face, head and upper torso, said Capt. Patrick Kelly, a county Fire Department spokesman. He died at 12:10 p.m. yesterday at Francis Scott Key Hospital's burn unit, according to court records. A relative said he had managed a shoe store.

The couple's 6-year-old daughter, Keyani, and 1-year-old son, Michael, were not home when Mr. Hawkins was burned. Yesterday, they were being cared for by family members, said Keeshaun Hopkins, Mrs. Hawkins' nephew.

In court charging documents, police Detective Michael J. Long wrote that Mrs. Hawkins confessed to setting her husband on fire, saying it was because he beat her.

"Ms. Hawkins stated that she lit the fire in order to kill her husband," Mr. Long wrote. "Ms. Hawkins said that she was a constant victim of spousal abuse, and had been struck several times by Milton Hawkins just prior to him going to bed.

"Ms. Hawkins claimed the intent was to kill her husband before he killed her."

Keeshaun Hopkins, 17, said the family had lived in Rosedale for about 18 months.

E. Jay Miller, a county police spokesman, said police made one domestic violence call to the Hawkins home in late 1991.

Mrs. Hawkins, who has worked at the RCM&D insurance firm in Towson for 11 years, is scheduled for a bail review hearing tomorrow in Towson District Court. If convicted of murder and arson, she could be sentenced to a maximum term of life in prison plus 30 years.

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