A North Little Rock man is accused of setting his girlfriend on fire Monday night, causing injuries that resulted in her death.
Matthew Wayne Nichols, 46, has been charged with first-degree domestic battery in the case. A police spokesman said Tuesday that the charge will be upgraded to first-degree or capital murder, though it's not yet clear which it will be.
The victim, identified in a police report as Jessie McFadden, 38, suffered burns to 90 percent of her body and was taken to UAMS Medical Center.
North Little Rock Police Department Sgt. Brian Dedrick said McFadden succumbed to her injuries overnight.
Nichols made an initial appearance by video in North Little Rock District Court on Tuesday, during which a preliminary innocent was entered and he was ordered held without bail.
Several family members attended the hearing and had a brief period to address the judge.
"Do he get the death penalty?" one asked, her voice strained with emotion. "He watched her burn."
Authorities say it happened about 5:20 p.m. at 219 Water St.
INTERACTIVE: NLRPD crime map
One witness to the attack told investigators he saw smoke in the area and responded to see if anyone needed help.
"When he got to the front of the house, he watched ... Matthew Nichols pour gasoline onto Jessie McFadden's body, which was already on fire," police wrote in the report.
A second witness provided a similar account, and both witnesses identified Nichols in a photo lineup, the report said.
Police say Nichols approached officers at the scene, said there had been a "family disturbance" and that he needed to get in a police car.
After being arrested, Nichols told police that McFadden was his fiancee, but McFadden's parents said Tuesday that the pair weren't engaged to be married. Family members told authorities the two had been dating about 2 years.