By: Patti Weaver
(Stillwater, Okla.) — A Stillwater man accused of dousing his wife with lighter fluid, approaching her with a lighter and threatening to set her on fire has been jailed on $25,000 bail pending a May 6 court appearance on a felony charge of domestic assault with a dangerous weapon.
If convicted, Lyvan Nelson Knowles, 37, who was ordered to have no contact with his wife, could be given as much as a 10-year prison term, court documents show.
Stillwater police were sent to the family’s residence on N. Benjamin Street at 10 pm on April 4 after a 13-year-old called 911 to say “her father poured lighter fluid on her mother and has locked her mother and himself in the back bedroom,” an affidavit alleged.
“On arrival, I observed four children in the driveway to the residence. One was on the phone with dispatch and some were crying,” Stillwater Police Officer Robbie Frazier wrote in his affidavit.
“I told the children to stay outside in the driveway while we went in to check on their parents,” the Stillwater officer wrote in his affidavit.
“Lyvan stated he and his wife had gotten into an argument. Lyvan said his wife was telling his kids things about him that were not true and trying to turn his kids against him. Lyvan stated he was unable to get through to his wife and thought the only way to get her to listen was to scare her,” the affidavit alleged.
“Lyvan admitted to Officer Cluck to squirting lighter fluid on (his wife), but when asked about holding a lighter up to her, he denied ever getting the lighter out,” the affidavit alleged.
His wife “told Officer Cluck that Lyvan squirted lighter fluid on her and held a lighter to her. (She) told Officer Cluck that she was afraid that Lyvan was going to set her on fire. Officer Cluck advised he could smell the odor of lighter fluid on (her) as they spoke,” the affidavit alleged.
The oldest child, who called 911, told Officer Cluck she saw her father squirt lighter fluid on her mother and then hold a lighter up to her, the affidavit alleged.
While Officer Frazier transported the father to jail for assault with a dangerous weapon, Officer Cluck talked to the mother, who showed him an abrasion bleeding in the middle of her right calf on the inside of her leg, which she said she got when her husband stepped on her as she tried to get away, the affidavit alleged.
Officer Cluck collected her clothing, a partially-used bottle of lighter fluid, and three lighters that Officer Frazier had taken out of the man’s pocket, the affidavit alleged.
The next day, his wife obtained an emergency protective order against him, court records show.