Man accused of setting friend's face on fire after argument

Jonathan Bridges, 43, charged with first-degree murder

By Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor

Jonathan Bridges is accused of setting his friend's face on fire, killing him.

MIAMI - A homeless man from Miami was arrested Wednesday after setting his friend on fire, police said.

A Miami-Dade County judge raised Jonathan Bridges' charge to first-degree murder Thursday.

According to an arrest report, Bridges and the victim, who was also homeless, were staying at a mutual friend's home temporarily when they got into a heated argument over "trivial matters."

Police said Bridges, 43, threatened the victim, stating, "I'll kill you. I'll set you on fire."

According to the report, Bridges got a plastic bottle and squirted some type of chemical into the man's eyes, blinding him.

The victim tried to push Bridges away, but the suspect ignited the victim's shirt with a cigarette lighter, police said.

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The fire engulfed the victim's head and upper body. Police said he tried to remove his shirt and ran to a nearby faucet, but the water service had been disconnected.

Eventually, the victim was able to pour some water over his head from the bottom of a cooler.

He was taken to Kendall Regional Medical Center with second- and third-degree burns and later died of his injuries.

Police said Bridges ran away from the scene but was later arrested.

A judge ordered Thursday that Bridges be held in jail without bond.

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