Prosecutors: Man beat woman with hammer, doused her in oil before torching Wareham home

WAREHAM, MASS. (WHDH) - A man arrested in connection with a massive fire at a home in Wareham last week was arraigned Friday on attempted murder and arson charges. He was ordered held without bail.

Police say Mondel Johnson, 40, was arrested Thursday night in Fall River as part of an investigation into a blaze that ripped through a home on Restful Lane on March 29.

Detectives learned that Johnson had attacked a woman inside the home with a hammer, doused her with a cooking oil, and set the home on fire, according to investigators.

Prosecutors say before the fire was set, Johnson showed a friend the hammer and told that friend he was going to kill his girlfriend. They allege Johnson then took his girlfriend to a vacant home to do drugs, where they got into an argument about a cellphone.

“The defendant proceeded to hit the victim multiple times over the head with a hammer.  She remembers getting dizzy and the defendant pouring on her head what she believed to be cooking oil. During this time he proceeded to stomp on her until she passed out,” Prosecutor Samantha Mullin said.

Johnson then lit pieces of newspaper and threw them at the victim, who was doused in oil, according to Mullin.

The woman was able to escape the home and run to a nearby residence for assistance.

“The young lady just came to the door screaming, upset and hysterical,” said Good Samaritan Kerry Andrade.

Andrade says the 27-year-old woman told him her boyfriend had just beaten her up and that she leaned against his wall, leaving blood stains.

“That was a hand there and some part of a fingerprint,” Andrade said while pointing to the wall. “I just took the initiative and just tried to look out for the young lady. That was my objective and to make sure she was okay.”

The woman has since been treated and released from Tobey Hospital.

A judge ordered Johnson to avoid contact with the victim.

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