Police charged 49-year-old Phillip Scruggs with murder Monday, two days after an Athens woman died from severe burns she suffered when he allegedly doused her with kerosene and set her on fire.If Captain Holeman read this blog, he would be able make more sense of the horrible tragedy. He would know that Scruggs didn't act out of uncontrolled anger, but out of a sense of entitlement.
Elisa Denise "Lisa" Davenport, 42, died Saturday afternoon - 12 days after Scruggs attacked her as she tried to break off an abusive relationship, police and relatives said.
She suffered burns to 60 percent of her body and never regained consciousness during her stay at the Doctors Hospital of Augusta's Joseph M. Still Burn Center.
Athens-Clarke police took out warrants Monday morning charging Scruggs with malice and felony murder.
"That was essentially a very senseless act, and I'm still having problems trying to figure out what could make someone so angry they could do something like that," said Athens-Clarke police Capt. Clarence Holeman, commanding officer of Centralized Criminal Investigations.
Scruggs nearly killed Lisa Davenport once before, but after he was released from prison, he managed to work his way back into her life, and the abuse continued, her brother said.Scruggs had attempted this murder once before but wasn't held sufficiently accountable for his crime. For some people, prison means nothing and a Temporary Protective Order is just a piece of paper. He was still convinced that he had a right to use violence to control his partner, and that he could take her life if she attempted to leave him. After he was released from prison, she may have been very afraid not to take him back. Once she got up the courage to leave, he was willing to brave prison again rather than allow her to go on without him. It's not about anger, it's not about jealously, it's about control.
The assault that killed his sister also endangered other people, since the fire spread to neighboring homes in Building 180 where residents were sleeping, Eric Davenport pointed out.