Charge against London, Ont., man upgraded to murder after man who was set on fire dies

·2 min read
Police have charged a London, Ont., man with first-degree murder after a man was set on fire on Tuesday died of his injuries.   (Kate Dubinski/CBC - image credit)
Police have charged a London, Ont., man with first-degree murder after a man was set on fire on Tuesday died of his injuries. (Kate Dubinski/CBC - image credit)

A London, Ont., man is now charged with first-degree murder after a man who was set on fire in the east end of the city died, police say.

Police identified the man who died as Jonathan Lawrence Graham, 29, of London.

Graham died in hospital on Tuesday, hours after the early-morning attack.

Initially, the 32-year-old charged in the case faced an attempted murder charge, but that's been upgraded to first-degree murder.

The incident comes the same week it was learned a woman, who had been set on fire in June at a Toronto bus station, died in hospital. In this case, however, Nyima Dolma, 28, of Toronto did not know the 33-year-old man charged in her death.

In London, police said they were called to Admiral Drive and Trafalgar Street at about 2:20 a.m. Tuesday for a report of a man on fire. By the time emergency crews arrived, the fire was extinguished and the 29-year-old was rushed to hospital.

Graham and the man charged knew each other, police said. The two were at a Noel Avenue home, not far from Admiral and Trafalgar, earlier in the evening when they got into a fight. They left the home separately, officers said.

At about 3 a.m., a man was arrested on Royal Crescent, off Clarke Road, for drunk driving.

"Through the course of the investigation, officers determined that the driver was also responsible for the serious assault on the man," police said.

At noon on Tuesday, police officers were still at the plaza where the man on fire was found. It includes a Circle K convenience store, a pizza place and a barber shop. In the parking lot was a white Jeep Compass SUV, covered by a police tarp.

Steps away, two large burn marks were visible in the dry grass of a lawn. At 12:30 p.m., firefighters hosed down the burn marks and a tow-truck took away the SUV, which had a child seat in the back.

Kate Dubinski/CBC
Kate Dubinski/CBC

Janine Robertson has lived in the area all her life, and next door to the convenience store for six years.

"It's just one of the crazier things that happened there, one of the more scarier things. Robberies, assaults, stuff happens there all the time," Robertson said. "But it's the whole city now. Things are crazy all over."

The 32-year-old has also been charged with drunk driving and impaired operation of a vehicle.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting