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BY Francis Akhalbey, 10:00am October 18, 2021,

Memphis man set girlfriend on fire after she told him she was breaking up with him, police say

Kenneth Upshaw allegedly set his girlfriend on fire after she told him she was breaking up with him -- Photo Credit: Shelby County Jail

A Memphis man accused of setting his girlfriend on fire after she informed him of her intention to break up with him was arrested in connection with the incident. According to WATN, the October 9 incident occurred after the suspect, identified as 38-year-old Kenneth Upshaw, got into an argument with his girlfriend.

The victim told investigators the argument stemmed from her decision to end things with Upshaw. But that did not sit well with Upshaw as he allegedly told the victim, “if he could not be with her, then no one would,” an affidavit stated.

The victim said Upshaw then went ahead to pour gasoline on her before lighting her up with a lit cigarette. The victim, who sustained second-degree burns to her face, neck, chest and arms, was treated for her injuries at a local hospital the next day. The victim also said she could not recall how the fire was extinguished. She, however, added she eventually fled the scene and drove to a friend’s home.

The confrontation reportedly occurred around residential property. And the homeowner told WREG Upshaw had come to the property earlier that day. He, however, added he was unaware of what was transpiring outside until someone informed him about a car being on fire in his driveway. He said he and his friend managed to put out the fire.

“It was pretty bad. I mean, it burned the whole back end and part of the back driver’s side and started to get where the gas tank is, and I thought it was going to explode,” the man said. Upshaw has since been charged with attempted second-degree murder.

Court records showed this wasn’t the first domestic violence incident involving Upshaw and the victim. The woman reportedly had to undergo an emergency caesarian section in 2019 after Upshaw severely punched her stomach while she was pregnant.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: October 18, 2021


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