A 36 year-old man identified as Cyrus K. Paye, who reportedly set his partner, Etta Paye, on fire that led to her death in the Mount Barclay community, outside Monrovia, has pleaded not guilty to the crime.
Following the reading of the indictment on Monday at the Criminal Court “A”, defendant Paye pleaded not guilty, thereby taking issue with the State to prove its case.
According to the report, defendant Paye on December 29, 2017 poured gasoline on the victim and set her ablaze along with their home.
The defendant, in a loud voice, pleaded not guilty with a smile on his face, while the son of the deceased along with her niece looked at the defendant in the face and began to weep.
Paye was arrested by officers of the Liberia National Police for reportedly killing his wife by setting her ablaze, while trying to escape via the Guinean border to avoid prosecution.
Paye was investigated and subsequently charged with murder and arson for intentionally causing the death of victim Etta Paye by setting her ablaze at night;
The report stated that while the victim was asleep, her husband wasted gasoline on her and locked the door after setting her ablaze.
Police preliminary investigation revealed that the late Etta Paye and defendant Cyrus Paye got into a love affair in 2013 after he abandoned his matrimonial home in the Red Hill Field Community and moved to a three bedroom apartment in Mount Barclay New Town community.
The report says the couple did not move alone as they took along Etta’s son Roland Vah and her niece, Angel Ballah.
After a while, they started having series of misunderstandings and the relationship turned sour, leading the victim to reportedly decide to quit the affair since she could no longer withstand the tension in the home.
The indictment pointed out that on December 28, 2017, the victim and her niece, Angel went to sell in the Redlight Market but Angel returned home earlier, leaving her aunt at the market.
This prompted defendant Paye to inquire if Etta was returning home later.
Angle confirmed that her aunt was coming home and told the man that she (Angel) returned home earlier to attend to other things.
By 7: 00 p.m., Etta returned home from the market and went to bed, only on the fateful night for Cyrus set her ablaze.
She was pronounced dead at the ELWA Hospital in Paynesville City.
While struggling to quench the fire, she managed to force the door open and rushed into the living room calling for help, when her then 14 year-old son Roland ran into the kitchen for a bucket of water, but Cyrus reportedly kicked the bucket and wasted the water.
This prompted Roland to call the neighbors, including Dolo Nyan and Edward Dahnquoi who, according to the account, broke into the house to attempt to rescue the victim.
The defendant then escaped, but was later arrested at the Guinean border and turned over to the Monrovia City Court for trial.
Meanwhile the trial is ongoing with the selection of a jury.