Bond denied for SC man accused of setting wife on fire

Credit: WBTW

FLORENCE, S.C. (WBTW) – Bond has been denied for the Florence man accused of pouring gasoline on his wife and then lighting her on fire.

Charles Durell Nethercutt, 32, was in court Wednesday for his initial appearance after being arrested and extradited from New York.

According to Major Mike Nunn with the Florence County Sheriff’s Office, deputies searched for Nethercutt for nearly two months. A warrant for attempted murder was issued for Nethercutt after he tried to kill his wife, Amanda Brillhart. Deputies say Nethercutt poured gasoline on his wife and set her on fire on Sept. 19.

The report states that deputies were called to the home on Longfellow Drive and found the victim being treated for severe burns to her arms, torso, legs and feet. At the time, the victim was conscious and alert and was able to tell investigators that her husband accused her of cheating on him before he doused her in gasoline and lit her on fire.

Amanda Brillhart’s mother was in the courtroom Wednesday and spoke to the room with tears in her eyes.

“My daughter has asked me to speak on her behalf that his bond be denied for what he’s done to her and for running,” she said. “He is a flight risk and a danger to everybody.”

Warrants for Nethercutt state that his wife was taken to an out of state burn center to be treated for her injuries.

Florence County Sheriff Victim’s Advocate, Dana Olsen, told the court that Brillhart is still in the hospital and has had 19 surgeries in the past six weeks.

Nethercutt was arrested in Yonkers, New York on Nov. 15 and extradited to Florence Tuesday.

Many people in the courtroom requested that the judge denied Nethercutt bond, including a lieutenant with the sheriff’s office assigned to the U.S. Marshal’s taskforce.

Major Nunn says the sheriff’s office worked closely with the U.S. Marshalls service and other law enforcement until Nethercutt was caught.

“We adopted the case the day after the incident so it was our job to locate the fugitive,” the Lieutenant said. “Roughly about seven task forces from here, Virginia, North Carolina, New Jersey, and New York were all involved in locating the subject, Mr. Nethercutt, and it went on for almost two months and it’s something we obviously worked on daily,” he continued. “With the resources we used and the things that we used to locate him, I would request that his bond be denied because with everything we exhausted I just don’t know if we can do it again.”

Brillhart’s attorney, Nick Smith, then explained why he believed Nethercutt should be denied bond.

“The state would argue that no bond would be appropriate at this time,” he said. “For one, the actual crime in this case, the absolute way that this happened I think presents a danger to the community,” he continued, “In this case, gasoline was used, poured on the victim, in this case, and set on fire with a lighter.”

Smith said after Nethercutt was found in New York, he believed he was a flight risk.

“It happened on the nineteenth of September and since that time, the defendant has been on the run, I believe just recovered in New York, and has gone to extensive leaps to avoid being arrested,” Smith said. “Being out on a bond, any bond based on the nature of this case would argue that if he would take the measures he took to commit this crime and the lengths that he’s gone to in order to avoid being arrested, being out on bond the likely-hood of him appearing back in court is very unlikely and the lengths that he may take to avoid retuning to court are substantial. So we believe that no bond would secure his appearance in court for this case so we argue that there should be no bond granted in this case your honor.”

Nethercutt’s attorney began her statement by giving background on him.

“Charles is 32-years-old, he’s a graduate of South Florence High School after he graduated from South Florence High School he went into the United States Marine Corp where he served our country,” she said. “He was deployed to Afghanistan three times. He was exploded in a Humvee while serving our country, after that tour in the United States marine Corp he went into the South Carolina National Guard where he served as a sniper and different other duties. He has no criminal record, that’s what I’ve been told by family.”

She then requested Nethercutt be issued a bond and said the accusation Brillhart made against him, was an accident.

“He very much loves his wife Amanda and his son,” Nethercutt’s attorney said. “This was an accident, he and his mother are the ones that called police, called 9-1-1 and he took his wife’s clothes off and began rendering burn aid to her while at the house before police got there. We believe that with no record and his service of 11 years to the United States and three tours in Afghanistan, your honor, we would just ask since he does have some disabilities due to that service, I would ask that he be given a bond with home confinement and electronic monitoring.”

The judge denied Nethercutt bond, he does not yet have another court date scheduled.

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