PEKIN, Ill. (AP) — Authorities say a man killed in a Pekin house fire set the home ablaze but then went inside after his wife fled fearing he could kill her.
The Pekin Daily Times reports an autopsy Monday confirmed 44-year-old Lawrence Medearis Jr. died of burns. The newspaper says Medearis had been barred from the home by a court order of protection due to an earlier attack on his wife.
Medearis' wife told police he had a machete and a handgun when he arrived at the home late Saturday.
Tazewell County Sheriff Robert Huston says witnesses saw Medearis spread an accelerant on the home and then walk inside the home's garage as the flames grew. By that point, his wife had already fled.
Firefighters found Medearis' body.
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