Man pleads not guilty in fiery attack on woman - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Man pleads not guilty in fiery attack on woman

Christopher L. Rollins (Source: West Frankfort Police Department) Christopher L. Rollins (Source: West Frankfort Police Department)

WEST FRANKFORT, Ill. (AP) - A southern Illinois man accused of dousing his girlfriend with chemicals and setting her on fire says he didn't do it.

Twenty-8-year-old Christopher Rollins of West Frankfort has pleaded not guilty in Franklin County to aggravated battery.

West Frankfort police say 22-year-old Tessa Leech survived last month's attack but sustained burns over much of her body. Her relatives say she's still hospitalized.

Police Chief Jeff Tharp says emergency responders initially dispatched to a report of a woman burning in a back yard found smoke coming from the home, then found the victim and components of a meth lab.

An officer testified Rollins told investigators he poured tar cleaner or remover on Leech and left the room, only to later hear screams and find Leech on fire.

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