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Crime & Courts

Georgia man sentenced to more than 200 years in jail for setting girlfriend on fire

A Georgia man who poured gasoline over his girlfriend and set her on fire was Friday sentenced to more than 200 years in prison.

Earlier Friday a jury found Orville Brooks, 30, guilty of the attack on Tara Best in the couple's apartment a year ago, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

He was convicted on eight counts, including false imprisonment and criminal intent to commit murder, before Clayton County Judge Geronda Carter sentenced Brooks to 205 years in jail, WSB-TV reported.

Best was on life support for three months after the attack and suffered burns to more than 70 percent of her body. Forty percent were third-degree burns.

The court was told that the couple had argued before Brooks beat Best and pushed her into a bathtub. He poured gasoline over her before lighting it with a match.

"I can just remember him pouring it on me and saying stuff, and I'm just pleading with him not to do it," Best said on the stand. "He lit the match and threw it on me."

But Brooks denied the series of events during his trial. His lawyer said his client had just flicked a cigarette lighter to scare Best after pouring gasoline on her and it had been an accident when it ignited.

The victim's father, Rodney Best, told the court, "It was a monstrous act performed on my daughter on that day."

Her mother, Nicole Ramsey, also asked that the maximum penalty be imposed, the Journal-Constitution reported.

After the sentence was delivered, Best said told WSB-TV she was happy with the outcome.

"I feel like it was a great outcome, and I feel like I truly impacted young girls' lives today," she said.

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