A Brooklyn man has been indicted after he allegedly tied a woman to a chair and fatally lit her on fire late last year.
The suspect, 28-year-old Lashawn Duffie, has been charged with first and second-degree murder, kidnapping, and robbery in Brooklyn Supreme Court, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced Wednesday.
According to the DA’s office, Duffie accused his former girlfriend, Surgery Ramirez, of stealing and selling his comic books in an argument outside her Cypress Hills apartment at about 12:30am on Nov. 11, 2022. Duffie was later seen on video surveillance buying twine, lighter fluid and a lighter at a nearby bodega with cash he had allegedly stolen from the victim’s friend.
Just before 4am, Duffie returned to Ramirez’s apartment on Livonia Avenue and reportedly assaulted her. It is alleged that he then tied Ramirez to a chair with the purchased twine, poured lighter fluid on her and lit her on fire. The defendant reportedly left the apartment, leaving the victim to burn alive. Duffie was captured on a surveillance camera throwing his shirt, a lighter, and documents with Ramirez’s name on them in the dumpster.
“The brutal and completely senseless murder of an innocent woman, allegedly perpetrated by this defendant, shocks the conscience,” Gonzalez said in a statement. “This kind of depraved conduct will not be tolerated in Brooklyn, and we are committed to seeking justice on behalf of the victim and her loved ones.”
The New York City Fire Department responded to reports of a fire and discovered Ramirez’s burned body. The New York City Medical Examiner later determined she died of severe burns and homicidal violence. Duffie was arrested on January 24, 2023 and has been remanded without bail. He was ordered to return to court on May 3, 2023.
The defendant is facing a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted on the top count.