In Anderson General Sessions Court today, thirty-four year old Kwan Raylee Fowler pled guilty but mentally ill to a charge of Domestic Violence of a High and Aggravated Nature. The Honorable Cordell Maddox sentenced the defendant to 20 years suspended to 15 years in prison with 5 years’ probation to follow. The State was represented by Sr. Assistant Solicitor Kristin Reeves. 

Anderson County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a domestic dispute call on April 25, 2016 to an address on Pocalla Way in Anderson, where they found the victim, the girlfriend of the defendant, with several large burns to her neck, hair and multiple areas of her body. The victim told officers that she had been assaulted at her home which was about a block away and ran to this address for safety and to call for help. After arguing for several hours, Fowler grabbed a lighter and lighter fluid which he sprayed on the victim and set her on fire in front of two of her children. Ms. Smith was able to escape to the children’s bedroom, where she climbed out of the window and fled to her mother’s home for help.  The victim’s four children remained locked in two bedrooms. As she ran away, Ms. Smith looked back and saw Fowler drive away. He was later arrested at St. Francis Hospital, although he stated he did not know how or why he was there. Ms. Smith was transferred from AnMed Medical Center to the Augusta Burn Center. 

Solicitor David Wagner stated, “Kwan Fowler is a serious danger to the community. Ms. Smith and her family will be safer with him in prison for the next 15 years. Although she continues to receive treatment, the pain and scarring are a lasting reminder to her of the devastating effects of domestic violence. Our community must become involved in helping to prevent and reduce the incidences of domestic violence. If you are a victim of domestic violence, reach out for help. Counseling, shelters and other services are available to those who ask. One organization that offers help is Safe Harbor which can be reached by calling 1-800-291-2139.”