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Jury finds Jonathon White guilty of attempted murder, assault for setting ex-girlfriend on fire

Jessica Cameron Buffalo News.PNG
Posted at 5:28 PM, Oct 25, 2019

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — On Friday, a jury found Jonathon White, 28, guilty of attempted murder and assault after setting his ex-girlfriend on fire in December 2018.

25-year-old Jessica Cameron was doused in gasoline and set on fire on December 17, 2018 in the parking lot of the Tim Hortons where the two both worked in the City of Tonawanda. Police said before the attack, White contacted Cameron and asked her to come outside to talk.

On Thursday, Cameron took the stand to describe the attack. Cameron suffered severe burns, injuring her face, hands and chest. She endured at least 12 surgeries.

"This young lady took the witness stand and was courageous beyond belief," Erie County District Attorney said in a press conference after the verdict on Friday. He continued, "For the rest of her life, she knows that we're here to help, help her. And I'm also equally committed to helping the defendent. I'm equally committed to helping him spend the next 25 years in jail."

White also testified on Thursday, as the defense's only witness. He told the court that he was suicidal the day of the attack, and that he didn't know how Cameron caught fire.

During closing arguments Friday morning, defense attorney Joseph Terranova built off this testimony, reminding jurors to consider White's intent during the incident.

After the verdict on Friday, Terranova told reporters he was "disappointed" in the outcome. He thinks Cameron's testimony "made the case" for the prosecution. He said White plans to file an appeal after his sentencing in early January. White faces a maximum of 25 years in prison.

The prosecutor, Ryan Haggerty, argued in his closing statement that White intended to light Cameron on fire.

If you or someone you know is facing domestic violence or abuse, help is available.

Resources:

  • Erie County 24/7 Hotline: 716-862-4357
  • Shelter Hotline: 716-884-6000
  • National Hotline: 800-799-7233