SALT LAKE CITY — A man accused of setting a woman on fire at a Murray hotel made his initial appearance in court on Wednesday.
Andrew Todd Curtis, 44, of Moab, is charged in 3rd District Court with attempted aggravated murder, a first-degree felony. Because he has previously been convicted of murder and attempted murder in separate cases, prosecutors are seeking enhanced penalties if convicted, arguing that Curtis qualifies as a habitual violent offender.
During Wednesday’s brief hearing, the Salt Lake Legal Defenders Office was assigned to represent Curtis and another hearing was scheduled for Monday, according to court records.
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.
Police have not identified the woman. But according to friends who set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for her medical bills, she is Carole “Karmel” Gilmore.
According to the fundraising page, Gilmore suffered third-degree burns over 80% of her body.
“Doctors say that if she survives, she will have over a yearlong road to recovery in the burn unit. She is currently intubated and fighting for her life. After recovery, she will likely need lifelong assistance and care. Her family is having to travel to Salt Lake City to be with Karmel, and are currently making plans to move there permanently,” organizers stated on Oct. 23.
On Oct. 26, the page updated Gilmore’s status by saying she had undergone surgery “to debride dead tissue and use cadaver skin. They sent some of her skin to grow so she can hopefully graft her own skin in the next few months. She’s still on a ventilator but is able to wiggle her toes if you ask her to.”
On Monday, Gilmore had her fifth surgery for skin grafts to her hands.
“She is able to nod her head as communication. Thank you all so much for sharing and donating. It is already helping the family,” according to the page.
Gilmore has a 4-year-old son, according to friends.
“She and her family need help financially so she can fight this and win, and return to her son,” the pages states.