Man with criminal past now accused of trying to set girlfriend on fire

A South Side man who served a prison sentence for killing a man with a van during an argument more than 17 years ago is accused of beating his girlfriend and attempting to set her on fire.

Mark A. Edwards, 48, was indicted Friday by a Franklin County grand jury for aggravated arson, attempted aggravated arson, domestic violence, abduction and possession of criminal tools.

The indictment includes a repeat-violent-offender specification based on Edwards’ 2004 conviction for voluntary manslaughter.

In the latest incident, county Prosecutor Ron O’Brien said Edwards “beat, strangled and poured lighter fluid” on the victim “and attempted to ignite her a couple of times” on April 15 in his residence in the 2400 block of Shore Boulevard East.

On Nov. 23, 2002, Edwards was driving a van on Springmont Avenue near South Oakley Avenue on the Hilltop when he got into a confrontation with a group of pedestrians. Edwards put the van into reverse and fatally stuck a member of the group, 35-year-old David Craig.

Edwards, who claimed he was trying to escape an angry mob that was blocking the street, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in July 2004 and was sentenced to three years in prison.

His latest indictment includes an enhanced domestic-violence charge because of prior convictions of negligent assault and/or domestic violence, O’Brien said.

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