Prosecutors accuse Cuero man of trying to ignite girlfriend

Jeremy Powell

A Cuero man racked up three felony charges Thursday after officials say an argument with his girlfriend in March escalated into arson, among other things.

A Victoria County grand jury indicted Jeremy Louis Powell, 27, on aggravated assault in retaliation, arson and endangering a child with criminal negligence charges.

Victoria police arrested Powell in the 1700 block of Avondale about 8:30 a.m. March 14. His girlfriend frantically dialed 911 after the two argued about trust and who owned a $10 bill. He doused her with lighter fluid when he heard her speaking with dispatchers, according to an earlier report.

Lighter fluid is considered a deadly weapon, just like a pen, a book, a car or boiling water, said Eli Garza, the Victoria County first assistant criminal district attorney.

Garza would not comment about the specifics of the case until it goes to trial.

Criminal District Attorney Stephen Tyler, meanwhile, said he was concerned about how the victim was near an infant at the time of the incident.

"I think that this guy had a torch that he was burning or a newspaper rolled up when he squirted her down with lighter fluid," Tyler said. "Clearly, he had lost his grip."

Powell is also charged with setting fire to an outbuilding behind the house.

The Victoria Fire Department extinguished the flames, and ultimately, no one was hurt.

Assistant District Attorney Eddie Wilkinson will prosecute the case.

Powell had not hired or been appointed an attorney as of Friday, and no court date has been set.