Woman faces murder charge for setting man on fire while he slept

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Angela Berry

AUGUSTA, Ga. — The charges have been upgraded for the woman accused of setting a man on fire as he slept after the victim died at the Augusta Burn Center.

Laurens County (S.C.) deputies previously said that a man told them that he was asleep at a home on Rabon Road in July when Angela Berry, 38, threw something on him before he realized he was on fire.

Family and the coroner confirm that the victim, William David Corteville, of Laurens, S.C., died Sunday. He was 53 years old.

Corteville’s son, Josh, remembers his father as a “hero” and a “fighter.”

“We want him remembered as a hero. He’d give you the shirt of his back and would do anything for anyone,” Josh said.

Josh said it was his father’s generosity that led to the incident that ended his life.

Josh said Angela Berry was on the streets when Corteville gave her a home. Josh said the two later became boyfriend and girlfriend.

“He gave her everything she wanted and she did this to him,” Josh said.

Deputies noted that Corteville’s skin “appeared to have melted off of his body” at the time of the incident, and said much of his body had been burned.

Investigators think Berry doused Corteville with gasoline and ignited the fuel.

“He was a fighter. He fought for five months at that hospital,” Josh said.

He said his father died at 6:15 p.m. Sunday.

“The hardest thing I’ve ever had to do was watch my father fade away,” he said.

Corteville’s family is asking for prayer as they grapple with his death and for the trial.

Laurens County Coroner Nick Nichols said that Corteville’s body would be transported to the Upstate for an autopsy.

Berry was out on bond for domestic violence when deputies charged her with attempted murder and second-degree arson in June.

On Tuesday, Solicitor David Stumbo said Berry’s charges had been upgraded to murder and arson first degree.

Berry remains in the Laurens County jail. A circuit court bond hearing on the new charges will be scheduled for late January, Stumbo said.

Source: WHNS