Pomona man who allegedly set woman afire faces court appearance


Clarence Duwell Dear, 51, in a booking photo provided by Pomona police. Dear is accused of killing a woman on Christmas Day.

(Pomona Police Department)

A man who is accused of pouring gasoline on a woman and setting her on fire, killing her, remained in police custody on $1-million bail Monday.

Police arrested Clarence Duwell Dear, 51, on suspicion of murder Sunday following a tip that he’d been spotted boarding a bus in Altadena. Detectives had been looking for Dear since he allegedly set his roommate, 41-year-old Dawn Hensley, on fire in the middle of a Pomona street on Friday afternoon.

He was arrested without incident and is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday, jail records show.

Though Pomona police have yet to reveal a motive for the attack, they said it stemmed from an argument that turned physical then spilled outside of the pair’s home on Cordova Street about 1:45 p.m.


During the dispute, Dear “chased the victim from their residence and was able to douse the victim with gasoline,” Pomona police said in a statement. “The suspect then ignited the victim, possibly with a lit cigarette.”

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Dawn was seen running from her house on fire and collapsing in the street, where neighbors tried to help her until paramedics arrived.

She was rushed to a hospital where she died. Dear was arrested about 10 a.m. Sunday.


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