Antioch Township woman was sentenced to 12 years in prison for setting her then-boyfriend on fire

An Antioch Township woman was sentenced to 12 years in prison for setting her then-boyfriend on fire in May 2015.

Deborah Roberts, 34, pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated battery in front of Judge George Strickland, Assistant State’s Attorney Danielle Pascucci said Tuesday.

Roberts will have to serve 85 percent of the sentence before being eligible for parole, Strickland said. She received 275 days credit for time she served in Lake County jail.

Had Roberts been found guilty at trial, she could have been sentenced to up to 45 years in prison on that charge, Strickland said.

Prosecutors dropped charges of attempted murder, a second count of aggravated battery, and three counts of aggravated domestic battery in exchange for the negotiated plea agreement, Strickland said.

Roberts and boyfriend Chad Malinowski, 43, were in an argument on the front porch of the house they shared on the 25000 block of Golfview Avenue at 7:27 p.m. on May 17, when she kicked him in the right hip, authorities said.

The kick sent Malinowski tumbling down a five-foot flight of stairs in a fall that shattered his heel, authorities said.

Roberts told police she kicked Malinowski after he spit on her, authorities said. Both had been drinking before the fight began, authorities said.

At the bottom of the stairs, Roberts grabbed a red plastic gasoline can and repeatedly bludgeoned Malinowski with it, authorities said.

Roberts told police she pulled out a lighter and flicked the top of it a threatening manner, authorities said. However, gasoline that had spilled on Malinowski during the attack ignited.

Authorities said a witness heard Roberts say, “I hope you burn,” as she flicked the lighter.

Roberts told police that after the fire started, she grabbed a hose and tried to put out the flames while Malinowski stumbled to the middle of the yard. However, authorities said Roberts poured more gasoline on Malinowski when he tried to put out the flames.

Malinowski was taken to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, then to a burn unit at Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital in Milwaukee. He survived the attack.