Milwaukee woman charged with homicide in fatal arson caught on Facebook Live

Posted at 4:25 PM, Jun 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-21 17:52:52-04

MILWAUKEE -- A 39-year-old Milwaukee woman has been charged in a fatal house fire that killed a 72-year-old man Friday night.

Java Wright faces charges of first degree reckless homicide and arson of building. If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of 100 years in prison.

In a criminal complaint released Wednesday, Wright is accused of smashing out the windows of a lower unit in a building on W. Burleigh St. before pouring the contents of a red gas can into the home. Video posted to Facebook Live shows Wright reach inside the window just before flames break out.

The fire quickly spread throughout the building, and a woman jumped out of a window to escape. Wright walked west around the house and out of view of the camera. 72-year-old Willie Greer was later found dead.

Investigators explain in the criminal complaint that Wright said she set the fire as an attempt "to get back at" her boyfriend. The two of them were fighting earlier in the day, and the complaint says Wright became "enraged" when her boyfriend poked her in the eye.

Wright told investigators she didn't mean to harm Greer, saying he reminded her of her own stepfather.