BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - A man has been sentenced to 30 years following a guilty plea for Attempted Murder and Domestic Violence.
Christopher Holmes, 42, of Berkeley County pled guilty to the crimes committed against his former live-in girlfriend. The guilty pleas stem from two separate instances of violence against Holmes' former live-in girlfriend that took place on March 27 and April 4 in Ladson.
On April 4, Holmes reportedly instigated an altercation with the victim, accusing her of stealing his money early that morning. The argument escalated and, as can be heard on the eyewitness homeowner's call to dispatch, Holmes grabbed a bottle of lighter fluid and a lighter, doused the victim and threatened to kill her.
The victim was lit on fire as she attempted to leave the home. Holmes reportedly tackled her, continuing to assault and choke her.
After the victim escaped, she threw the now smoldering shirt into the yard and ran to the intersection of Royle Road, where she flagged someone's car down to take her to an area hospital.
Holmes also managed to enter the car and was heard on the person's emergency call saying incorrect information that he woke up to two robbers lighting the victim on fire and that he saved her life by tackling her and putting out the flames.
The victim reported to the Emergency Room staff Holmes was the one who burned her and Holmes fled down the I-26 on-ramp before being taken into custody by the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office.
The victim had suffered second and third-degree burns to 30 percent of her body.
During the investigation by Berkeley County Sheriff's detectives, the victim reported she had sought medical treatment at an area hospital on March 27 for a separate assault.
She reported Holmes had similarly accused her of stealing his money on that day as well as drugs.
When the victim could not provide the items Holmes claimed she stole, he punched her multiple times in the face and choked her until she lost consciousness.
Further investigation into her medical records showed she suffered injuries consistent with her claims on the same date
Detectives were also able to intercept jail mail sent by Holmes to the witnesses in the case offering gifts to convince them to change their testimony so he could "have a fighting chance" at a light sentence.
The judge imposed the maximum 30-year sentence at Holmes' plea hearing, negating his attempts to manipulate the judicial system.