LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A 51-year-old man will be arraigned Tuesday on charges related to the murder of the mother of his children that took place on Christmas Day.
Clarence Durell Dear, of Pomona, has been charged with one count of murder with the special circumstance of torture and one count of cruelty to a child, their 12-year-old son, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
The special circumstance makes Dear eligible for the death penalty. His fate will later be decided by prosecutors.
Dear was scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday afternoon in the Pomona branch of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, but the arraignment was postponed until Jan. 28. He was ordered held without bail.
Dear is accused of dousing Dawn Hensley, 41, of Pomona, with flammable liquid and setting her aflame by using a cigarette in the 1500 block of Cordova Street on Friday afternoon, according to police.
Neighbors reported seeing Hensley appear to be engulfed in flames before she collapsed onto the street.
Upon their arrival, paramedics treated her for severe burns and transported her to a hospital, where she later succumbed to her injuries.
Detectives say a preliminary investigation revealed Dear and Hensley became involved in an argument that escalated into physical violence.
After receiving a tip, officers detained Dear on a bus traveling from Pasadena on Sunday. He is currently being held on $1 million.
The case remains under investigation by the Pomona Police Department.