SALT LAKE CITY — Criminal charges were filed Friday against a Moab man accusing him of intentionally setting a woman on fire at a Murray hotel.
Andrew Todd Curtis, 44, is charged in 3rd District Court with attempted aggravated murder, a first-degree felony.
The Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office is also seeking enhanced penalties if Curtis is convicted, saying that he qualifies as a habitual violent offender due to his prior criminal history which includes killing one person and attempting to kill two others in two separate incidents.
On Oct. 22, Curtis and a 34-year-old woman whom he had been abusive to in the past, according to police, were arguing at the Studio 6 Hotel, 975 E. 6600 South. While the woman was standing outside her room, Curtis “ran up to the victim and threw a cup of clear liquid” onto her and then ”spit on the victim and lit an object in his hand and set the victim on fire,” according to charging documents.
The woman suffered burns over 70% of her body. As of Friday, she remained hospitalized at the burn unit at University of Utah Hospital, “where it is unknown whether she will survive the injuries,” the charges state.
Murray police were the first to arrive at the scene. As they were treating the woman, she told them, “Andrew Todd Curtis did this to me. ... The man came up to me and said, ‘You’re going to burn (expletive) and sprayed me with this ...” according to the charges. Her comments were recorded on an officer’s body camera.
Curtis was arrested at a nearby convenience store a few hours later. The arresting officer noted that when he was found, Curtis “had a bag in his possession that smelled of fuel” and a torch lighter, the charges state.
Witnesses told police that Curtis had been abusive to the woman in the past and had also assaulted her the night before the fire, the charges say. The woman's parole agent told investigators that “they have attempted to separate the suspect from the victim multiple times knowing he was a danger to the victim.”
Curtis’ violent criminal history includes stabbing a man to death outside a restaurant in Moab in 2010. He was sentenced to a term of zero to five years in the Utah State Prison for that incident. In 2002, he was convicted of two counts of attempted murder for shooting two people in the parking lot of a Moab bar, according to court records, and was sentenced to prison. He served eight years for the shootings.
Curtis was released from prison in April and his sentence for the murder expired in June, according to a police affidavit.
Most recently, police say he traveled to Murray from Idaho Falls in a stolen car.
“During a phone call with a Murray City victim advocate, the victim’s mother stated Todd recently tried to set his mom’s house on fire,” a police affidavit says.
Anyone who is a victim of domestic violence or knows of a victim in Salt Lake City is encouraged to call police at 801-799-3000 and ask to speak with a victim advocate or call a 24-hour hotline at 801-580-7969.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-7233 or the Utah LINKLine at 1-800-897-5465 for confidential assistance.