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EARLY-RELEASE REQUEST IS DENIED FOR MAN WHO SET GIRLFRIEND AFIRE

SHARE EARLY-RELEASE REQUEST IS DENIED FOR MAN WHO SET GIRLFRIEND AFIRE

A judge has rejected the early release plea of an 18-year-old man who is serving a nine-month sentence for dousing his girlfriend with liquid hair spray and setting her afire.

Gary L. Gautney now wants to go to school and start his life over."I learned a real hard lesson being in jail," Gautney, 18, told 3rd District Judge Frank G. Noel. "It's something I'll never forget."

Attorney Richard Dibblee said that if Gautney were released, he would enroll in psychotherapy.

Noel denied Gautney's request, but said he might consider releasing him after Jan. 15, when he will have served more than half of the sentence.

Gautney burned his 30-year-old girlfriend, Gloria Savoca, on Feb. 5, as she was moving out of the apartment they shared.

She suffered second- and third-degree burns over 37 percent of her body and was hospitalized for more than a month. While the burns heal, she must wear a protective body suit. Her medical expenses are estimated at $200,000.

Gautney was originally charged with second-degree felony attempted murder, but the state allowed him to plead to a misdemeanor reckless-burning charge.