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Tuesday, March 14, 2000

Kauai man poured
gasoline on wife and
‘lit her up,’ police say

By Anthony Sommer


ELEELE, Kauai -- Milan Aguiar was still on fire, pouring water from a neighbor's garden hose on herself to put out the flames, when Dorothy Lewis first saw her.

"She was shaking her body, shaking and shaking, trying to get rid of it," Lewis, 69, said yesterday, looking across the street at a green garden hose loosely coiled on the ground. "Her blouse was almost completely burned off and she had burns all down her back and all down her front."

Aguiar, 39, remains in critical condition at Straub Clinic on Oahu with burns over between 80 percent and 90 percent of her body.

Her husband, Gregory Manual Aguiar, 49, was scheduled to be arraigned today in Kauai District Court on a charge of attempted second-degree murder. The police report said he poured gasoline on his wife during a family fight at their home Sunday morning, and "then lit her up."

He fled, but surrendered to police a few hours later.

The Aguiars live in a plantation-style house in the Eleele Nani subdivision mauka of Port Allen on Kauai's west shore.

Lewis has been their neighbor for more than seven years. Her daughter, Sandy, lives in a house on the opposite side of the Aguiar home. She said she heard the Aguiars arguing "from time to time but not often."

"I know Gregory. I thought he was a real nice neighbor. He and my daughter talk story," Lewis said. "I hardly know his wife. She doesn't mix with the neighbors very much.

"I had no idea he would do something like this," she added.

Lewis said she was about to leave for church about 11:20 a.m. Sunday when she heard someone scream for help three times. She said she ran outside and saw Milan Aguiar in front of a neighbor's house across the street dousing herself with the garden hose.

"Her left shoulder was still covered with flames. The man who lives in the house was helping her and he yelled to his neighbor in the next house to call the fire department."

Paramedics used medication to knock Aguiar unconscious because of the pain. She was flown to Oahu on Sunday. Yesterday, Kauai police detectives were at Straub Clinic to attempt to interview her but they wouldn't say whether they were able to obtain a statement.

Court documents show the only time Gregory Aguiar ever has been in court previously was for his divorce from his first wife 10 years ago.

Gregory Aguiar's uncle, Alfred Reis, said family members decided not to talk to the press at this time.

"I will tell you this: he's a nice guy." Reis said. "Something just pushed him over the edge but I don't know what."

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