DURANT, Okla. – A former MMA fighter will head to trial after being accused of violently beating a woman and setting her on fire.
In March, authorities arrested Nehemiah Hellems after neighbors discovered the 50-year-old woman in the street.
“She had been beaten beyond recognition,” said one neighbor. “Her face had been singed, her face had been burned, her hair all singed, her arm is broke. And come to find out he had poured acetone on her and set her on fire.”
Investigators say Hellems was reportedly upset over drugs.
“He probably thought she was dead,” a neighbor told KXII. “That’s probably what saved her life. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have run out that door.”
When the neighbors found the woman on the street, they rushed to help her.
“And she talked but she kept saying, ‘He’s going to kill me, he’s going to kill me,’” said the other neighbor. “And I told her it was alright and she said, ‘Well, you can’t protect me’ and I said, ‘Well, I sure will try.”
According to KXII, the victim took the stand on Tuesday and told the court that she loves and forgives Hellems.
In spite of the testimony, the judge ordered the case to go to trial in July.