published Friday, December 7th, 2012

Catoosa County, Ga., man indicted in threat to burn wife

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    Calvin Havner has been indicted for trying to light his wife on fire after dousing her with kerosese.

A Tunnel Hill, Ga., man accused of dousing his wife in kerosene in front of their two daughters and threatening to light her on fire has been indicted on 20 charges.

It was in early October that Calvin Havner threatened to set his wife, Angie, and their house afire, Catoosa County, Ga., police said. Afterward, police said, he took the couple's 5- and 8-year-old girls to Marion County, Tenn., to stay with his father.

Havner was found in Dade County after officers followed a locator on his cellphone and spotted his vehicle, Catoosa County Sheriff's Capt. Chris Lyons said.

On Wednesday, a Catoosa County grand jury indicted Havner on charges including four counts of aggravated assault, three counts of cruelty to children in the first degree and three counts of false imprisonment.

As a child, Havner nearly died in a fire, said his attorney, McCracken Poston. This along with Havner's watching his brother die from an aneurysm led Poston to request that Havner take physiological and competency tests to determine whether he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.

"It's a really sad story," Poston said, "because the guy has had a life full of really horrific trauma and tragedy."

On the night of the attack, Oct. 3, the indictment accuses Havner of shoving his wife, then putting his foot on her throat and pouring a petroleum liquid suspected as kerosene on her and inside the home. He also threatened to kill his daughters, the indictment states.

After Havner was arrested, Catoosa County Judge Ralph Van Pelt released him on an own recognizance bond, but he then was transferred to federal prison on a previous charge. His bond specifies that he's not allowed to have any unwanted contact with his family.

Poston said Havner remains in federal custody.

about Joy Lukachick Smith...

Joy Lukachick Smith is the city government reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Since 2009, she's covered crime and court systems in North Georgia and rural Tennessee, landed an exclusive in-prison interview with a former cop convicted of killing his wife, exposed impropriety in an FBI-led, child-sex online sting and exposed corruption in government agencies. Earlier this year, Smith won the Malcolm Law Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting. She also won first place in ...

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