Man confesses to pouring gasoline on his wife and setting her on fire: court documents

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NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A man accused of murdering his wife in their Norfolk home confessed to police, according to court documents.

Delano Arnold Grangruth told police that he poured gasoline on his wife, Kathleen, and set her on fire before fleeing their home on April 17, according to recently unsealed court documents.

Norfolk firefighters were called to the Wailes Avenue home around 10:23 a.m. after a home care service worker — who was visiting Kathleen Grangruth — tried knocking on the door and noticed the smell of something burning.

Norfolk firefighters forced their way into the house and found the 61-year-old woman “heavily burned” inside the couple’s living room. She was sitting in a chair, which was also charred, court documents state.

Her husband of more than 20 years, Delano, wasn’t at the home and police could not reach him. Officers later found him riding his bike on Military Highway.

When questioned, Delano Grangruth confessed to using gasoline to light his wife on fire before fleeing the house on his bicycle, court documents state.

Delano Grangruth is charged with second-degree murder and arson. He’s currently being held in the Norfolk City Jail without bond, and is scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 24.

Just two days after he was arrested, 10 On Your Side spoke to Delano Grangruth from jail.

He told a reporter that his wife was wheelchair bound and suffering from dementia, and that he was her primary caregiver.

He declined to comment on her death, except to say that she would be missed.

Court records showed that Delano Grangruth had been convicted of assaulting his wife twice in Virginia Beach in 2006 and 2008. He was charged again in 2015 in Norfolk, but the charge was dismissed.

An officer wrote that Delano Grangruth pushed his wife multiple times and threatened to kill her and burn the house down if she called police.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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