Virginia man, drunk on rum, poured gas on disabled wife before lighting her on fire, police say

A Virginia man, drunk on rum after a fight about money with his disabled spouse, poured gasoline on the woman and set her on fire in April, a detective said at a hearing Monday.

Delano Grangruth, 58, reportedly confessed to the murder and was charged with second-degree murder in the death of Kathleen White-Grangruth, 61.

Norfolk police Detective Bill Cogswell testified that Grangruth initially denied knowing about the April 17 fire, the Virginian-Pilot reported. The detective said Grangruth confessed after hours of questioning, telling authorities he had attacked her in a drunken rage after they argued for three days about money.

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Grangruth told police he drank for the first time in years after fighting. In a fit of rage, he poured the gasoline over his wife, lit her on fire, panicked and then left, he said.

Firefighters went to the house in Norfolk after White-Grangruth’s caregiver called 911 when no one answered the door. The woman’s charred body was found in a chair over a candle. A caregiver said she suffered from dementia and schizophrenia and needed a wheelchair after hip surgery.

Judge Lauri Hogge ruled there was “enough evidence against Grangruth” to send his case to a grand jury.

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“They were very difficult to look at,” Hogge said of the photos of White-Grangruth’s charred body.

Grangruth told reporters in April he’s “not a monster.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.