POLICE: Man tried to burn down mom's home before setting other woman on fire

KINSTON, N.C. (WITN)- Police say a man accused of setting a woman on fire tried to burn down a relative's home just an hour before. WITN has learned that relative is Venice Taylor's mother.

The 41-year-old Taylor appeared before a Lenoir County judge this afternoon. He is charged with attempted murder, malicious maiming, resisting public officials and driving with a revoked license.

Khloe McNeal was stopped in her car on East Street in Kinston shortly before 11:00 a.m. Monday when police said Taylor approached her.

They say Taylor drove up in another car, dowsed her with a flammable liquid and then set the 24-year-old woman on fire.

Interim police chief Tim Dilday said there's no word yet if Taylor and McNeal know each other.

McNeal is in critical condition at the Jaycee Burn Center in Chapel Hill.

Dilday says the fire at the home on Elizabeth Drive was minor and that it extinguished itself.

The judge gave Taylor a court-appointed lawyer. He's being held on a $2 million bond.


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Police have now arrested the man they say is responsible for setting a woman on fire Monday morning.

Kinston police arrested Venice Taylor, 41, of Jacksonville, in connection with the case. Police say Taylor was taken into custody during a traffic stop just after 7 p.m. in the 300 block of East Vernon Avenue.

Police say Taylor is facing charges for attempted murder, malicious maiming, resisting public officials and driving with a revoked license.

Investigators say 24-year-old Khloe McNeal was stopped in a car on East Street when she was approached by a man.

Officers say the man dowsed McNeal with a flammable liquid and then set her on fire.

An officer was flagged down by a passerby at 10:52 a.m. at the intersection of Bright and East Streets.

Police say McNeal had severe burns to her upper body.

She was taken to UNC Lenoir and then flown to the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center in Chapel Hill.

Police say their investigation is in the preliminary stages.

Anyone who has any information about this case is encouraged to call the Tips Line at 252-939-4020 or Lenoir County Crime Stoppers at 252-523-4444.