Man dies after teens intentionally set him on fire, teens facing murder charges

WHECTV
Updated: March 16, 2021 06:52 PM
Created: March 16, 2021 09:50 AM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The man who suffered second-and third-degree burns over 70% of his body after he was set on fire in his Lyell Avenue apartment has died, according to the Rochester Police Department.

Police say 53-year-old Steven Amenhause was intentionally set on fire Friday. Two teenagers, identified as 16-year-old Zayvion Perry and 14-year-old Adriel Riley Jr., allegedly sprayed the man with an ignitable liquid before setting him aflame as he was sitting in a chair.

Police arrested Perry and Riley and charged them both with first-degree assault and second-degree arson in connection to the incident.

Tuesday, after Amenhause died from his injuries, Perry and Riley were charged with second-degree murder.

The Monroe County District Attorney's Office says Perry will be charged as an Adolescent Offender and Riley a Juvenile Offender. Riley will remain in Youth Part, where Adolescent Offenders and Juvenile Offenders remain subject to criminal liability as adults, and neither will be transferred to Family Court.

Perry is being held on $50,000 cash bail, $100,000 secured bond and $150,000 partially secured bond.

Riley is being held no bail, no release.

“We will be working with the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office in regards to upgrading charges against the individuals previously charged,” Rochester Police Capt. Frank Umbrino said in a statement Tuesday morning.

Police said Monday the victim and suspects are not related, and it was not a domestic violence incident.

On Tuesday, Capt. Frank Umbrino released more details about the incident during a press conference.

Umbrino said Amenhause lived in the Lyell Avenue apartment by himself and he was originally from Texas. They say he was adopted and has no family in his life.

Police radio calls from last Friday detail that Amenhause went to a grocery store across from his apartment at around 12:20 p.m. on Friday. The clerk at the store told News10NBC's Berkeley Brean that they turned all their security video over to police. 

Police say Amenhause went back to his apartment and that's when he was set on fire.

Umbrino said Amenhause ran out of the apartment, and first responders rendered aid.

He said the two teenagers gave fake names at the scene and that they do know each other.

Umbrino said Amenhause was vulnerable and declining in health. They say Perry and Riley hung out in the neighborhood, but that there is no indication as of yet that they had a familiar relationship with Amenhause.

Riley was already wanted on a warrant for robbery in connection to an incident in Gates from back in September and that he was arrested again in December for an October robbery in Rochester, and for allegedly stealing a vehicle in January, according to Umbrino. A juvenile warrant was issued for him on March 5.

Perry and Riley are scheduled to be arraigned on Wednesday.


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