'She didn't deserve that': Woman has burns on 18% of body after being set on fire by friend

Mycah Hatfield Image
Tuesday, November 24, 2020
Family of woman set on fire by friend: 'She didn't deserve that'
Police say 60-year-old Harold Celestine poured gasoline on Lasheak Wilborn and set her on fire after an argument.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A woman is in the hospital recovering after being set on fire by a friend on Saturday in southeast Houston.

Lasheak Wilborn, 40, is in stable condition with burns on 18% of her body, according to friends.

Police said around 7:30 a.m. Saturday, she and 60-year-old Harold Celestine had a confrontation at a home in the 6100 block of Ridgeway Drive. He reportedly poured gasoline from a water bottle on her and set her on fire. The mother of two was able to run to a home nearby and call 911. Another man also suffered from minor burns as part of this incident, according to police.

READ MORE: Man on the run after girlfriend was set on fire

"I don't exactly know what happened, but I know it was something petty and it didn't have to result to that," said Nikisha Ellis, Wilborn's lifelong friend.

The heinous crime happened a few blocks from where the victim lives. Her friends believe she was trying to run home for help but could not make it. Despite reports from police that Wilborn and Celestine were dating, Ellis said they were just friends.

She and the victim's family cannot understand how things escalated to this point.

"I can't even figure out or say or think anything that would make a person do that to her, because she will give anybody her last," Ellis said.

Celestine is facing charges of aggravated assault of a family member and criminal mischief. He remains on the run. Wilborn's family and friends want him to turn himself in.

"I know it is weighing on his heart," Ellis said. "It's got to. It has to be, so he needs to turn himself in. That's wrong. That's a woman. A Black woman, and you did that to her. I mean any woman, but you did that to her."

Court records in Harris County show an extensive criminal history for Celestine dating back to the 1980s.

He was sentenced to 45 days in jail for criminal mischief, 10 years in prison for voluntary manslaughter and pleaded 'no contest' to an aggravated robbery charge in 1986 and was sentenced to 40 years behind bars.

Anyone with information on Celestine's whereabouts is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

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