Two teens have been charged with murder after a Rochester man was “intentionally” set on fire in his home.
WROC reports Steven Amenhauser, 53, died Tuesday after suffering second- and third-degree burns on more than 70% of his body Friday at his Rochester apartment. He was being treated at the University of Rochester Medical Center’s Kessler Burn & Trauma Center when he succumbed to his injuries four days later.
Rochester Police say Zayvion Perry, 16, and Adriel Riley, Jr., 14, both from Rochester, doused the victim with a flammable liquid and set him on fire as he sat in his chair. They were initially charged with arson and assault in connection to the incident but after Amenhauser died, the Monroe County District Attorney’s office elevated the charges to second degree murder.
The Democrat & Chronicle reports the teens were acquaintances of Amenhauser, a Texas native who had no family and lived alone, and were arrested at the scene of the crime.
Rochester Police Capt. Frank Umbrino said Amenhauser had gone to the grocery store shortly before the teens allegedly set him on fire in his apartment around 12:30 p.m. According to WROC, Umbrino said there was no evidence to drugs being involved and wouldn’t comment on any potential gang involvement.
“I don’t think anyone is prepared to say why this happened,” Umbrino said when asked about possible motives.
WHEC reports Riley was previously arrested three times in the past seven months. He was accused of a robbery at knifepoint in a Gates parking lot in September, and his mother was charged with endangering the welfare of a child because she allegedly rented a hotel room for him and left him unsupervised. Riley was also caught in a stolen car in January, and his father was ticketed for endangering the welfare of a child.
According to WROC, Perry will be prosecuted as an adolescent offender and remain in the youth part of Superior court, while Riley will be prosecuted as a juvenile offender and his case will remain in youth court due to the Raise the Age legislation.
Both are being held at the Monroe County Children’s Center, officials said. Perry is being held on $50,000 cash bail, $100,000 secured bond and $150,000 partially secured bond. Riley is being held with no bail, no release.