Suspect setting woman on fire in Kinston was random attack, police say

North Carolina news

KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – The man accused of throwing a flammable liquid on a woman in Kinston and setting her afire had set a relative’s home on fire about an hour before, WNCT reports.

Venice Taylor, 41, made his first court appearance Tuesday following his arrest Monday evening.

Venice Taylor in court on Feb. 4, 2020.

He faces charges of:

  • Attempted murder
  • Malicious maiming
  • Resisting public officials
  • Driving with a revoked license
  • Failure to stop for blue light/siren

Taylor is accused of throwing a flammable liquid on 24-year-old Khloe McNeal as she sat in a car on East Street and setting her on fire, Interim Police Chief Tim Dilday said.

“At this time there is no relation whatsoever between the two, it does appear to be a random act,” Diday said.

Security cameras in the Kinston area assisted officials with the arrest of Taylor – which occurred around 7 p.m.

About an hour before attacking McNeal, Taylor set a relative’s home on fire, police said.

As of 2 p.m., Kinston police confirmed to CBS 17 that McNeal is still at the Jaycee Burn Center in Chapel Hill being treated for injuries to her upper body.

Taylor’s next court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 18 at 9 a.m.

A fundraiser has been set up to help McNeal’s family with gas and food while she recovers in the hospital.

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