Pretrial detention hearing for man charged with setting roommate on fire

Crime

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – We’re hearing straight from the man charged with the murder of his roommate after Albuquerque Police say he set her on fire. In a lapel video played in court Monday, Lawrence Sedillo told an officer he heard voices in his head.


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Sedillo, 39, told police something came over him and he poured gasoline on his roommate, Renee Benally at their home near Central and 47th Street last month. “I told her well why are you still here? Why am I paying your bills? Why am I paying your rent? Why are you using us?” Sedillo is heard saying in the video.

During the interview, played at a pretrial detention hearing on Monday, Sedillo said he argued with Benally over money. “Started to ask her questions. She kind of came up with these… I don’t know, I don’t know and then all of sudden something came over me,” said Sedillo.

That’s when Sedillo told the officer he went outside and grabbed a gas can and poured it on her. “I blacked out, next thing I know she was on fire, rolling on the floor. I tried to put her out. I ripped off the shirt that was burning,” Sedillo said in lapel video.

Sedillo said Benally then ran to the bathroom before she ran out the door and screamed for help. Benally died last week at a Lubbock burn center. Judge Joseph Montano ordered Sedillo locked up until trial.

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