NewsLocal News


Man who set Waukesha woman on fire sentenced to 35 years in prison

Posted at 12:31 PM, Oct 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-25 18:36:13-04

WAUKESHA — Joel Murn, the man who set a Waukesha woman on fire, has been sentenced to 35 years in prison plus 20 years of extended supervision.

In September of 2020, Murn approached Amber Fuller while she was walking her dogs. Neither of the two had any connection or relation. Murn proceeded to pour accelerant on her. Fuller tried to run away but fell. That's when Murn lit her on fire.

Amber suffered second and third-degree burns to her arm, entire back, abdomen, and thumb. She spent six days in the hospital, undergoing skin graft surgery, and raking up medical bills. At the time of the attack, Amber did not have health insurance. She is relying on a GoFundMe to help pay the expenses.

Amber Fuller

Murn told police he mistook her for a cousin he intended to kill. He was also charged with setting his grandparents' shed and garage on fire and striking his grandfather with his vehicle.

In a full courtroom, Amber Fuller finally addressed the man who changed her life.

"Seeing those flames engulfing my body, hearing my screams of agony," Fuller cried.

While Amber cried through her entire statement, Murn looked straight ahead and never showed any emotions.

He did address Fuller for a brief moment.

"Amber I don't know what to say to you. I don't even know you," Murn said. "Just because I wasn't in my right state of mind doesn't give me the right to inflict lifelong physical and psychological damage to a complete stranger."

Joel Murn
Joel Murn in court Monday.

During his statement, Murn spoke extensively about bad stock advice his grandfather once gave him and how he believes his grandfather always humiliated him.

Murn's attorney told the judge none of this would have happened if Murn didn't suffer from a traumatic brain injury due to an accident decades ago.

The state asked the judge to sentence Murn to 35-40 years in prison.

Ultimately, Judge J. Arthur Melvin III, sentenced him to 35 years plus 20 years of extended supervision.

"I feel confident that this is a long enough sentence so he won't be able to hurt anyone else in the future," Fuller told us.

Amber's dogs were both OK in the incident.

Amber Fuller
Amber Fuller's dogs

Amber told us she has a couple more surgeries to go through, but is looking forward to continuing her healing journey.

One way is through a tattoo she got. "The arm that he burned, I have family tattooed on it," she said.

She said that tattoo shows the difference in priorities between her and Murn.

Beyond his 35 year sentence and probation, the judge ordered he take anger management and criminal thinking classes.

As well as having to pay a restitution of more than $19,000.

Report a typo or error // Submit a news tip