Michigan man describes how he set his wife on fire during argument over kitty litter box

David John Garnett tells police he poured gasoline on wife, set her on fire

By Karen Drew - Reporter/Anchor

HOLLY, Mich. - A Michigan man came clean to investigators about what happened inside his home on Grange Hall Road in Holly this past winter. 

David John Garnett, 55, set his wife on fire after fighting with her over money and who would clean the kitty litter box. He described the attack to police.

"I'm so sick of her not taking care of the cat that we have," Garnett told police. "She'll leave it and go to work because all she thinks about is going to work."

Garnett described to police investigators how he went out to the shed, got a can of gasoline and started squirting it in the hallway of the home. 

"Not enough to do any damage. Just thought I would scare her," he said. 

The couple has been married for 12 years, and Garnett was pouring gasoline in their home and on his wife for revenge. 

"She was against the back wall, standing there, I don't know, trying to get away from me. There's no way to get away from me," he said.

David Garnett Jr. (Source: Village of Holly Police Dept.. WNEM)

Detective Scott Pasini, an arson investigator for the Oakland County Sheriff's Office, said the woman was confused. 

"She didn't know whether to call police or the fire department, and he lit her on fire. He poured gas on her, on her clothing, lit her on fire," said Pasini. 

Garnett told police that at that point he had realized what he had done. 

"I turned on the cold water in the bathroom right around the door and just kept throwing 24-ounce glasses of water wherever I saw fire, to put it out," he said. 

Pasini said the woman ended up getting out of the home through a bedroom window. 

"She rolled around in the snow -- she did the stop, drop and roll -- went to her neighbor's house and eventually called 911," said Pasini. 

Garnett appeared handcuffed in his walker inside an Oakland County courtroom earlier this year. 

"I still can't believe I did it myself, I don't know anything else to say," he said. " ... I will make it up to her. Things got out of hand."

Garnett was sentenced to 135 months to 50 years in prison for one count of assault with intent to murder and one count of arson.

His wife was severely burned, especially on her lower extremities. She did not attend her husband's sentencing and has checked herself into a mental treatment facility. 

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