Man denied bail in Columbia arson, death of ex-wife

Damon Willie White, hurt in blaze, was arrested after release from hospital

September 22, 2010|By Baltimore Sun staff

A man hurt in Columbia fire and charged in the death of his ex-wife earlier this month was denied bail Wednesday after his Tuesday arrest, police say.

On Sept. 7, firefighters found Thelma Wynn, 34, and Damon Willie White, 35, inside an apartment in the 6000 block of Majors Lane in Columbia. Wynn was declared dead at the scene, and White was sent to Maryland Shock Trauma Center for treatment. Since both sustained injuries that were not from the fire, police investigated the case as a domestic dispute.

Investigators later determined that Wynn was stabbed to death, and that the blaze was set after the stabbing. White, who had been temporarily staying at the apartment, according to police, was charged with first- and second-degree murder and arson. Police arrested White on Tuesday after his release from the hospital, and was denied bail in a Wednesday hearing.

According to charging documents, the apartment front door was barricaded from the inside by a freezer, and firefighters found White in a bedroom farthest from the fire, which was set with an accelerant like gasoline. Wynn was in another bedroom, but the hallway was barricaded with furniture. She had numerous stab wounds and trauma to her head, the documents said, including defensive stab wounds on her hands and arms.

Wynn's children, who discovered the fire when they came home from school, told police the couple had been asleep together when they had left in the morning.

According to police, investigators found a possible murder weapon — a knife found in the apartment.

Wynn had four children: two girls, ages 17 and 15, and two boys, ages 11 and 6. The youngest, a boy, is White's son. They are in the care of family members.

Wynn placed a restraining order against White in 2008, according to electronic court records.

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