Natasha Anderson, Daily Mail, January 23, 2022
A Detroit drug dealer was granted a $5,000 bond despite allegedly setting fire to his girlfriend who was 27 weeks pregnant with twins, burning 60 percent of her body and leaving her critically-ill.
Convicted drug pusher Devonne Marsh, 42, reportedly doused his 26-year-old girlfriend with lighter fluid and ignited her on fire after the pair had an argument.
Police told the Macomb Daily the pregnant mom was being held against her will and tortured. She was afraid to come forward fearing retaliation from Marsh.
She currently remains hospitalized in critical condition. It is unknown if her unborn babies will survive the attack.
Marsh was charged with attempted murder, assault and battery of a pregnant individual, domestic violence, assault with intent to do great bodily harm, delivery/manufacturing of controlled substances, felony possession, felonious assault and felony firearm.
Despite his at least two decades-long criminal record – which includes numerous violent crime and drug dealing charges – Marsh was awarded a $50,000 bail, meaning be could be released on a $5,000 bond.
Veteran Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy, a Democrat, previously said she supported bail reform for minor issues, such as traffic infractions, is now filing a motion to have his bail increased due to the severity of the crime.
‘His original bond was woefully inadequate, and we will be seeking a more appropriate bond given these charges,’ Worthy told WWJ 950 radio.
Detroit police responded to a residence on Packard Street on January 14 after receiving reports that a woman was being kept captive against her will.
When officers arrived on scene, they found the pregnant mom lying on a bed in the basement with severe burns to her legs and stomach.
She was taken to an area hospital and remains critical. It is unclear if her unborn babies will survive.
Police, rallying behind the domestic violence survivor, have called the heinous crime ‘unimaginable’ and commend her for coming forward to responding officers.
‘I want to applaud her for coming forward. I want to again let her know that she is not alone,’ Detroit police Sgt. Kyla Williams, who supervises the department’s domestic violence unit, told the newspaper.
‘She has the men and women of the Detroit Police Department to support her.’
‘How do you do this to another human being? It’s unimaginable,’ echoed Commander Michael McGinnis. ‘
Just incredibly traumatic injuries. I just can’t imagine the pain she must be suffering.’
District Attorney Kym Worthy’s office initially charged Marsh with kidnapping/abduction, aggravated/felonious assault, and violation of the controlled substance act.
However, after further investigation dismissed the original case and immediately issued new charges against Marsh due to the severity of his alleged crimes.
‘The evidence in this case will show that the defendant set his live-in girlfriend on fire after an altercation with her. She was six months pregnant with twins,’ Worthy told the radio station.
‘After receiving further evidence, we have dismissed our original charges and immediately reissued charges against him. His original bond was woefully inadequate, and we will be seeking a more appropriate bond given these charges.’
Marsh has been convicted of violent crimes and dealing drugs multiple times over the past 20 years in Macomb and Wayne counties.
He was booked into Macomb County Jail on Friday, according to jail records. Police say he had been hiding out since he absconded from probation in March 2020. He was sentenced to two years probation after pleading guilty in 2019 to four counts of delivering more than 50 grams of cocaine.
The convicted drug dealer also has a case pending in the Wayne County city of Livonia.
Worthy has openly issued support for reforming cash bond, telling the Detroit Free Press last year she believes it should never be imposed for civil infractions or ordinance violations.
She thinks it should be used sparingly for traffic offense and some misdemeanors. Worthy, however, did argue that domestic violence and stalking cases should be exceptions.
The attorney also believes prosecutors cannot ‘unilaterally change the cash bail system’.
‘Prosecutors supporting legislation that changes the cash bail system is what works,’ she argued. ‘I have been a judge and had to make those tough, individualized decisions. No one should be denied bail simply because they are poor.’