BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Jonathon White was found guilty on Friday of dousing his ex-girlfriend with gasoline and lighting her on fire outside of the Tim Hortons in Tonawanda where she worked.
Jessica Cameron survived but suffered burns across 30 to 40 percent of her body. She endured through a grueling recovery to earlier this week take the stand and testify against White.
The two were in a relationship for 7 ½ years and are parents of three children but were separated by Dec. 2018, when the fire happened on Niagara Street in the city of Tonawanda. Prosecutors said White lured Cameron outside during her shift to try and kill her.
The jury agreed, taking about 3 ½ hours to return a verdict of guilty of attempted murder and assault.
White was also burned, but much less severely. He testified Thursday that he came up with the idea to set himself on fire to make Cameron feel bad but insisted he didn’t plan on setting her alight.
White testified that he had a small amount of gasoline in a bottle and a Bic lighter on him when he walked to the eatery, then began pouring the gas on himself while talking to Cameron in the parking lot. That’s when he said she tried to physically stop him.
Prosecutors said the gasoline was a gallons’ worth in a plastic gas container, and that Cameron was on fire for one minute and 18 seconds.
Security footage from the Tim Hortons showed a bright flash behind the dumpster pen just minutes after Cameron walked behind it. Footage from police body cameras was also shown to jurors. In it, witnesses could be heard yelling “he set her on fire” and a voice from off-camera was also heard saying “please help me”.
Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 3, 2020.