Michael Sutherland Gets a Decade in Prison for Trying to Light Girlfriend on Fire, Stabbing Her

Michael P. Sutherland's girlfriend was trying to kick him out of her home in May because he wasn't paying any of the bills.

Sutherland responded by dousing her in gasoline and attempting to light her on fire, then stabbing her in the chest -- which is why he was sentenced to ten years in prison.

His girlfriend, who had to drive herself to the hospital, told police that she was sleeping in her bedroom around 7 a.m. on May 24 when she heard a noise coming from the front of her West Palm Beach home, according to a police report.

She noticed that her front door was open, and as she went to close it, Sutherland -- who was kicked out of the house by the woman a few days before -- appeared outside and began dousing her in gasoline, the report says.

Sutherland then attempted to ignite a lighter, but it wouldn't create a flame, police say.

After struggling with each other over the lighter, the cops say Sutherland got a knife out of the woman's kitchen and stabbed her in the chest.

The woman told police she was trying to figure out a way to get Sutherland to stop fighting her, so she said she told Sutherland she wanted him back at the house and asked him to help her clean up the mess he just made.

While Sutherland went to a back bedroom, his girlfriend hopped in her car and called the cops on her way to the hospital.

Police responded to the woman's home, and the cops noticed a man without a shirt walking down the street in the process.

When police found a dress shirt at the home that reeked of gasoline, they realized Sutherland was the shirtless guy and tracked him down.

According to the report, a Palm Beach County sheriff's deputy asked Sutherland why he smelled like gas, to which he responded, "he wanted to light his girlfriend on fire, but the lighter didn't work."

Sutherland eventually pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree murder and was sentenced Friday to ten years in prison.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley