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EXCLUSIVE: Interview with family of SF burn victim

January 9, 2013 5:57:52 PM PST
The San Francisco man accused with setting his girlfriend on fire is scheduled to appear in court for the first time Thursday to faces the charges. Meanwhile, the victim's family is getting support from anti-domestic violence advocates holding a vigil for Starr Lamare Wednesday night.

Lamare remains at St. Francis Hospital in the burn unit. Her mother, like the rest of the family, is numb and still in shock.

"The last thing she said to me was, 'mama can you help me can you hold me, he did this to me,'" said Anita Parker, the victim's mother. Parker says she has been unable to sleep since Sunday when her daughter was burned almost beyond recognition.

Police say the 25-year-old mother of three was doused with gasoline, then set on fire by her boyfriend after an argument at a Laundromat in the city's Bayview neighborhood.

"I want to be face-to-face for him to hear what I want to say to him, why he put me through this, why he put her through this, her kids through this," Parker said.

22-year-old Dexter Oliver is in custody. He faces charges of attempted murder and arson.

The family tells us since his arrest they learned he has a criminal history including domestic violence, "I feel like I should have done something," said the victim's sister, Jolissa Craig. "But, as I go over it in my head, the signs that he had, he would have done it sooner or later."

Oliver is currently being held in the medical/psychiatric unit at the county jail. He's scheduled to be arraigned Thursday.

A law enforcement source tells ABC7 News that Oliver has an arrest record dating back to 2008. He's been on probation since October 2011 for what authorities call a domestic related incident. He violated probation, but was back in compliance when he allegedly attacked his girlfriend.

Anti-domestic violence activists believe this horrific tragedy can be a teachable moment about abuse in our communities, "It's very hush hush," said GLIDE violence director Zwazzi Sowo. "We pretend like it's not going on, people act like it's not their business, it is our business and we need to be a part of getting rid of this."

Sowo runs programs for women and batterers at GLIDE Memorial Church. She's one of the organizers of Wednesday night's vigil. It's being held in support of Starr Lamare, her family, and other victims.

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