KEY POINTS

  • The incident happened on June 3
  • Tuhonsty Smith was charged with arson
  • Smith appeared in court Wednesday

A Wisconsin woman has been charged with arson for setting her husband on fire while he was asleep. She claimed she thought he had poisoned her chicken wings.

Tuhonsty Smith, of Milwaukee, appeared in a court Wednesday in connection with the June 3 incident. The 20-year-old woman admitted to setting her husband, Henry Williams, on fire while he was asleep but claimed that she was not trying to kill him,  VLAD TV  reported.

Smith said she thought Williams was trying to kill her by putting poison on her chicken wings. She waited for her husband to fall asleep and on June 3, at around 4 a.m., Smith filled a cup with lighter fluid and poured it on her husband's head before lighting it, police said.

Williams got up and realized his hair was on fire. He ran out of the house after grabbing their 3-month-old daughter who was sleeping in another room,  CBS 58  reported. The 29-year-old man suffered second and third-degree burns to his chest, head, ears, hands, neck and face in the attack.

The couple had been in a relationship for more than 8 years. Williams told investigators that he had noticed Smith was acting strangely recently. He felt like he was "walking on eggshells for the past three to four months," according to a criminal complaint. Williams suspects Smith of taking more doses of her medication than what was prescribed.

Williams said he saw Smith "pacing around the house" on the day before the assault. She did not talk to him when he got back from his work. The couple got into an argument later at night after Williams told her his plans of moving out of their house without her.

When Smith was taken into custody, she told the officers that she suffered from mental health issues. She claimed her "mind was racing" and had taken prescription medication at around 2 a.m. on the night of the assault.

Smith was charged with arson of a building and first-degree recklessly endangering safety and mayhem. She was ordered to undergo domestic abuse assessments and a competency evaluation.

The court has ordered Smith to appear in court later this month after her competency report is complete.

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