EVERETT, Wash. -- A Snohomish County judge set bail at $2 million Tuesday for a Lynnwood man accused of bashing his ex-wife in the head in his house and then setting the structure on fire in an attempt to kill her Sunday night.
David Morgan, 55, remains in custody and could face arson and attempted murder charges.
Firefighters found Brenda Welch, 44, of Lake Stevens, unconscious inside the garage of the burning home in the 6200 block of 193rd Street SW Sunday night.
She suffered 2nd- and 3rd-degree burns to her torso and body, according to Lynnwood police. Investigators said she also had a fractured skull and “smelled strongly of gasoline.”
“The injuries of blunt force trauma to the victim, who also smelled strongly of gasoline, are, in fact, an attempt to kill her,” prosecutor Paul Stern said.
When questioned, Morgan told investigators he was home sleeping when someone repeatedly struck him in the head, knocking him unconscious. According to court documents, Morgan woke up to smoke in the home and found Welch covered in flames. Morgan said he tried to help her, but was unable to put out the fire inside the home.
When firefighters arrived at the home, Morgan was in the front yard. He was coughing and kept falling down. The fire destroyed most of the home.
“Mr. Morgan clearly suffered a physical injury to his head. He was taken to the hospital. He was diagnosed with a concussion. He had a bump on his head, which he still has, I can see,” said an attorney representing Morgan.
Prosecutors said there were inconsistencies in Morgan’s account of what happened, but his attorney argued there was little evidence against him.
Family and neighbors say Welch comes to the home on Sunday nights to pick up the couple’s young daughter. At the time of the incident, their daughter was at the home of Morgan’s parents. Prosecutors say Morgan was recently required to pay more in child support and owed his ex-wife money.
Welch remained hospitalized Tuesday night in critical condition with multiple burns. Her fiancé said she is improving by the hour, but suffered severe injuries.