On July 13, 2002, Leroy
Dean McGill walked into an apartment in north Phoenix carrying a cup
full of gasoline. McGill doused Charles Perez and Nova Banta with the
gasoline and lit them on fire. Perez subsequently died from his burns.
Banta was so severely burned that treating physicians had to put her in a
medically-induced coma in order to save her life.
McGill, a twice convicted felon (armed robberies), committed these
crimes because the victims had accused him of stealing a shotgun. McGill
had been staying with the owner of the gun. As a result of the
accusation, the gun owner threw McGill out of his home, causing McGill
to become homeless.
After starting the fire, McGill asked an acquaintance if he could smell
burning flesh. He also bragged that he had mixed the gasoline with
Styrofoam to form a gel so that it would stick to the victims and burn