Officials from the Eleventh Circuit Solicitor's Office announced Monday that Robert Rome Greene, 48, received a prison sentence of 70 years following a jury trial conviction of attempted murder and arson - first degree, in Lexington County last week.
The trial began April 5 and concluded April 9. Green received 30 years on the attempted murder charge and 40 years on the arson - first degree, to be served consecutively. He will not be eligible for parole.
The case was prosecuted by Eleventh Circuit Deputy Solicitor Suzanne Mayes and Assistant Solicitor LeAnna McMenamin. Cayce Department of Public Safety investigator William Dougall was in charge of the investigation.
Mayes said they continue to be inspired by the strength and courage of the victim. "She has persevered through unimaginable circumstances. First, she fought for her life and won. Now, she has traveled a long and painful path to achieve justice and prevailed," she said.
Eleventh Circuit Solicitor Rick Hubbard called the case "an incredibly tragic and horrific crime of domestic violence." He commended the Cayce DPS and SLED for their work during the investigation. He said Green's sentence sends a message that crimes of brutality against women will not and cannot be tolerated.
According to the solicitor's office, the victim was asleep in the early morning hours of August 20, 2019 at her residence in Cayce. Green, who she was previously in a relationship with, entered her bedroom armed with a gas can and lighter. The victim testified she awoke to Green pouring gasoline on her skin and clothing. She struggled to get away but was overpowered. Green held the lighter to her face and ignited it, while holding the victim in place.
The victim fled the residence while on fire and ran to a neighbor's home for help. Officials reported multiple neighbors came to her aid, and 911 was called around 3:30 a.m. A neighbor's security camera captured the victim screaming and knocking on the neighbor's door.
The victim's home was engulfed in flames when Cayce DPS arrived on scene. The victim suffered second and third degree burns over 60 percent of her body surface area including face, scalp, torso, back, abdomen and arms.
She remained hospitalized at the Augusta Burn Center for more than four months, spending the majority of that time in critical condition on a ventilator. She sustained permanent burn injuries and underwent multiple skin grafts.
Green was reported to have fled the scene shortly after first responders arrived. A neighbor testified seeing the victim on fire as she was running from her residence and described observing Green in the front yard yelling, "Take me to jail!"
SLED Arson investigator Allen Lloyd provided testimony during the trial that an accelerant was located in the victim's bedroom, and arson investigators recovered a red gas can which tested positive for presence of an accelerant. A lighter was recovered from Green's shorts pocket.
The victim addressed the court during the sentencing hearing. "No creature on this planet should go through or suffer in the manner that I, my family, and friends have,” she said. She expressed gratitude to the first responders, medical providers, and community members who have assisted in her road to recovery.
Anyone who is in need of services or experiencing domestic violence may reach the Sistercare Crisis Line at (803) 765-9428.