Man convicted of setting friend on fire - KMOV.com

Man convicted of setting friend on fire

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) -- A Madison County jury has found Joey Ragusa of South Roxana guilty of first-degree murder in the 2004 fatal burning of a Wood River man.

The jury deliberated about 90 minutes before finding the 45-year-old Ragusa guilty late Wednesday in the death of 34-year-old James Garrison. Evidence at the trial showed Ragusa went to Garrison's home on Oct. 10, 2004, threw gasoline on him and set him on fire.

Most of the prosecution witnesses suggested Ragusa was upset with Garrison over a drug deal. But two jailhouse informants who testified for the prosecution said Ragusa told them his longtime acquaintance's homosexuality was a factor.

Garrison suffered third-degree burns over 77 percent of his body, and died about seven weeks after the attack.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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