Bond reduced for man charged in connection with setting girlfriend on fire, killing her

Clarence O'Reilly
Clarence O'Reilly(Jackson Police Department)
Published: Dec. 5, 2022 at 1:01 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Bond has been reduced for a man charged in connection with setting his girlfriend on fire and killing her during a domestic dispute back in September.

Monday, Jackson Municipal Court Judge Henry Clay set bond at $100,000 for Clarence O’Reilly, after a defense attorney told the judge new evidence in the case had come to light.

O’Reilly was initially charged with aggravated assault following a domestic dispute with his girlfriend, Leslie Brooks who was allegedly doused with gas and set on fire during a September 1 incident in the 500 block of W. Ash Street.

O’Reilly was later charged with murder after Brooks succumbed to her injuries.

In November, Municipal Court Judge June Harwick denied bond, saying the nature of the crime “shock[ed] the conscience.”

During a brief hearing on Monday, a defense attorney told Clay that records from the Jackson Fire Department show that responders were dispatched to the scene in response to a woman setting herself on fire.

Based on that evidence, O’Reilly’s attorney asked that his client’s bond be set at $50,000.

The prosecutor in the case said he left it to the court’s discretion, and that he was made aware of the fire department’s records that morning. He told Clay he was still awaiting additional information in the case.

After the ruling, Johnnitha Brooks, the victim’s sister, told the judge that O’Reilly should have no bond and that he and Leslie were involved in a domestic incident earlier in the week.

She went on to tell Clay that other evidence in the case was being withheld.

Clay told her that there the case was not over and that there still would be a trial.

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