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Att'd. murder charge filed in burning of homeless woman in Los Angeles

Van Nuys Bus Bench Homeless Fire


A bus bench in Van Nuys where a homeless woman, who was sleeping, was burned early Thursday morning.

The Los Angeles County district attorney's office has charged a 24-year-old man with attempted murder and accused him of setting a homeless woman on fire as she slept on a bus bench in Van Nuys.

Deputy District Attorney Sean Carney says Dennis Petillo is scheduled to be arraigned Monday. Prosecutors will ask that his bail be set at about $1 million.

In addition to attempted murder, he is charged with aggravated mayhem.

Carney alleges that Petillo threw a flammable liquid on the 67-year-old woman, who had slept on the bench for years, then set her on fire last Thursday.

RELATED: Eyewitness followed, led police to suspect who set homeless woman ablaze

The victim remains hospitalized in critical, but stable condition.

If convicted, Petillo faces a maximum of up to life in prison. It's not known if he has retained an attorney.

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