Charges dropped against ex-lawyer accused of setting girlfriend on fire


Charges against a former lawyer who was accused of dousing his girlfriend with flammable liquids and setting her on fire as she slept on a couch at his Burnsville condominium have been dismissed, according to reports.

Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom said further investigation into the Feb. 9 incident found that David Gherity has a substantiated alibi, clearing him of first-degree assault and arson charges, FOX 9 says.

The criminal complaint, which was filed in April, says that when Burnsville firefighters arrived at the condo they found Gherity's then-girlfriend sitting at the kitchen table. She was unconscious and on fire.

The victim, who was in a medically induced coma until March 4, said she was awakened by the fire after drinking and taking medication, according to the ABA Journal. She told officials that Gherity “lit the fire” and “tried to burn my house down,” WCCO reported.

Police said the victim had been soaked in nail polish remover and hair spray. The woman lost an ear and suffered burns to her scalp, face, neck, legs and hand, KSTP reports.

Gherity had said he was working when the woman was attacked and there was surveillance video from his office and his condo that would prove it.

His lawyer told the Star Tribune Monday that police didn't watch the video before charging him, but now they are pleased that he's been "totally vindicated." He added that Gherity spent more than two months in jail before his bail was reduced and he could afford to pay it, the newspaper reports.

The incident remains under investigation.

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