Man accused of lighting wife on fire appears in court

HUNTSVILLE, Mo. - A Mid-Missouri man accused of setting his wife on fire last summer is due back in court. Willard Hunt of Higbee, Mo., had a hearing in Randolph County Thursday morning. His trial is set for April 3.

Hunt is charged with first degree arson, first degree domestic assault and armed criminal action. Prosecutors think Hunt threw gasoline on his wife's face and lit her and the house on fire.

The home at 301 S. Randolph St. in Higbee was engulfed in flames when emergency crews responded to the scene the afternoon of June 17.

Connie Hunt was transported by helicopter to University Hospital in critical condition. Randolph County investigators said she had burns to 40 percent of her body, including her face, arms and torso. She was eventually released from the hospital.

Hunt remained on the loose until the next day, when he was captured around 8:30 p.m. June 18. A resident on Highway B west of Higbee saw a man walking along railroad tracks, and Hunt taken into custody without incident.

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