CHESTER CO., SC (WJZY) - A Richburg man is facing numerous charges, including attempted murder, after police said he set fire to a house in Lancaster on Easter Sunday morning.
Vernon Danelle Dye, 36, is charged with three counts of Attempted Murder, First-Degree Burglary, Domestic Violence of a High and Aggravated Nature, Third-Degree Arson, Pointing and Presenting a Firearm, and Possession of a Firearm during the Commission of a Violent Crime.
The incident happened on Sunday, March 27 at a home located at 1840 Mangum Drive.
Deputies with the Lancaster County Sheriff's Office were called to a structure fire around 8:30 a.m. Sunday. While on their way to the scene, information was provided that indicted the fire was deliberately set by an armed suspect.
Upon arrival, deputies found the home ablaze.
The investigation revealed two women and one man were inside the house when the fire occurred.
According to police, a romantic relationship between Dye and one of the women had recently ended. Dye apparently entered the home unannounced and began an argument with his former girlfriend. The other woman went to see what was happening and saw Dye strike his former girlfriend with a handgun.
Police said he pointed the handgun at the other woman and threatened to kill both of them and members of their families. He did not fire the weapon during the incident. Dye would not let the women leave the home and began splashing gasoline from a plastic container on the women and on the floor of the home before setting the home on fire.
Dye fled the scene in a Ford Taurus. The women told police they got out of the home through a rear window. The man also escaped. None of them were hurt by the fire, but the former girlfriend received non-life threatening injuries during the assault by Dye.
Firefighters extinguished the fire, but the home was heavily damaged.
Deputies said they immediately began searching for Dye and the Ford Taurus. The car was found behind Dye’s sister’s home on Green Peach Road and was towed for processing.
Deputies soon learned that Dye was at the emergency room at Springs Memorial Hospital for an issue unrelated to the fire, and he was taken into custody there and transported to the Lancaster County Detention Center.