Women set on fire, suspect to appear in court

7:24 PM, Dec 14, 2007   |    comments
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Lake Wales, Florida - Authorities say 30-year-old Leon Davis Junior is responsible for what they call a "heartless" crime.  He's scheduled to appear in Polk County Court shortly after 1 p.m. today, his 30th birthday.

Lake Wales Police say Davis set fire to two women, one of them pregnant, and shot a man in the face. 

According to Captain Troy Schulez, "He went in, lit this place on fire with no concern for the people who were in it, shot a good Samaritan and fled."

Police say the crime started as an attempted robbery.  They say Davis walked into a Lake Wales insurance office, where he would sometimes pay his insurance bill, and demanded money from the two female workers inside. 

Investigators say he wasn't happy with the amount of money the women gave him, so he threw gasoline on them and set them on fire.  A man outside heard their screams for help, rushed in and was shot in the face.

Alex Franco owns a nearby restaurant and says, "We've been through a couple of robberies before, but something like this is crazy!  When somebody tries to kill you for a couple thousand dollars, it's just insane.  He deserves whatever they give him."

Davis turned himself in to authorities last night after a massive manhunt.  He has a long, criminal history of theft in Polk County.  He's back behind bars, having been released from jail just last week.  

Joy Davis attended Lake Wales High School, where Davis Junior graduated from in 1997.  She says, "He was only funny and playful.  He don't seem like that kind of person that would do something like that."

Authorities say it's a struggle for them to find words to describe the violence of this crime. 

Captain Schulez says, "I don't see how someone with a heart and conscience could do that to anybody."

The two women set on fire are in critical condition at an Orlando hospital. 

23- year-old Juanita "Jane" Luciano is a mother of two girls and was six months pregnant with her first son.  Authorities say doctors performed an emergency C-section at the hospital last night. 

27-year-old Yvonne Bustamante is the mother of two boys,  and the good Samaritan who tried to help, but was shot in the face is 34-year-old Brandon Greisman.  He is the father of 5 young boys and an employee of the Lake Wales Streets Department.

Angie Atalla, Tampa Bay's 10 News

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