Regina Terry went into her house during a fight with her neighbors and came out with a pot of hot grease. Then she threw it at them.
The North Carolina woman evaded police after the incident but was arrested on Monday, some 70 miles from the scene of the crime. The content of the argument is unclear but it escalated over the course of the afternoon, according to the Charlotte Observer.
The relationship between Terry and the McLean family who lived next door was always contentious, but nothing physical had occurred before. Neighbors weren't prepared for the screams that erupted from the McLean house on Sunday afternoon.
Terry's grease attack injured at least eight people, including two adults and six children.
The adults and four of the children were treated at the Chapel Hill Burns center while another child was treated at Levine Children's Hospital. A sixth child escaped with only superficial burns that were treated at the scene.
The children affected ranged from ages 22 months to 10 years old.
Terry is charged with multiple crimes, including six counts of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, one count of assault with a deadly weapon, and seven counts of "maiming with malice," as reported by the Charlotte Observer.
Assault is a fairly common crime and "with a deadly weapon" obviously refers to the hot grease that struck the neighbors. But "maiming with malice" is not a typical charge and it relates to Terry's state of mind when she threw that pot of grease.
Malice, when used as a legal term, means acting with intent to cause harm through an illegal act or with "wanton disregard" to the personal safety of others. It's generally reserved for criminal actions that the District Attorney feels were done with a particularly heinous or cruel intent and not a charge that's given lightly.
Given the severity of the damage she caused, neighbors said they want Terry to face charges. "She deserves anything she gets for doing that to little kids," said Bridgette Moorer, as reported by WLTZ. "They didn't have nothing to do with that."
- Regina Terry Burned Infant, 7 Others With Hot Grease, Cops Say (Huffington Post)
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