Man pleads guilty to murder, arson in Minneapolis burning death of girlfriend
A 33-year-old man has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and first-degree arson in the death last year of his girlfriend, who suffered fatal burns at her Minneapolis home in a fire he ignited, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office announced Friday.
Wyndale Fayson of Minneapolis will be sentenced July 24 and likely faces more than 52 years behind bars, according to the attorney’s office.
Police say they were summoned to the Minneapolis apartment of Wyndale’s girlfriend, Vanessa Danielson, 36, early on Sept. 28. She told authorities that Fayson had threatened to kill her by setting the place ablaze.
But he was gone by the time police arrived, according to the criminal complaint.
Later that morning, Danielson awoke on fire, ran out of her two-story duplex and was met by a neighbor who smothered the flames with a blanket and held her hand while awaiting an ambulance. Danielson reportedly told her neighbor it was “Wyndale” who set her on fire. She died a short time later.
Officers found Fayson on his hands and knees about three blocks away, screaming in pain from severe burns, charges said.
Police reports showed that officers had been to Danielson’s home multiple times on domestic calls in recent years.
Fayson’s guilty plea comes after a grand jury indicted him on first-degree murder charges in December. If convicted, he would have faced life in prison without parole.
“We are glad Mr. Fayson took responsibility for his heinous crime and pleaded guilty,” Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said in a statement Friday.
Hannah Covington • 612-673-4751