Woman accused in fire that killed Michigan butcher appears in court

Posted at 7:49 PM, March 15, 2024 and last updated 6:44 AM, March 18, 2024

MARQUETTE, Mich. (Court TV) — A Michigan woman accused of setting a fire that killed her former employer and roommate was in court on Friday for a preliminary hearing.

Julie Boxley is accused in the March 2023 death of 72-year-old Glenn Andrews. At the time of the alleged crime, Boxley was living with Andrews and had worked as a caretaker for his wife. Prosecutors say Boxley set fire to the home on March 5. Andrews, a popular local butcher, died from his injuries two weeks later.

julie boxley appears in court

Julie Boxley appears in court Friday, March 15, 2024. (POOL)

During Friday’s proceedings, two law enforcement officers who responded to the scene testified that Andrews was severely burned and having trouble breathing, while Boxley appeared unharmed. In bodycam footage, Boxley told an officer she was upstairs in the residence when the fire broke out. She claimed Andrews woke her up and she jumped out a window while he ran out a back door.

Andrews’ son, Dennis, testified that his mother had moved to a care facility months before the fire. When asked about the nature of his father’s relationship with Boxley after his mother left their residence, he said, “It wasn’t stated to me, but I had ideas…That it was more than just a friendly relationship.”

Andrews’ daughter, Jill, testified that before her father’s death, Boxley complained that she didn’t feel “appreciated enough” by Andrews. She claimed Boxley also felt like the family stopped “supporting” her after his passing.

Other testimony focused on determining the cause of the fire, including a fire investigator hired by the victim’s insurance company who tested debris after the fire. The investigator, Jack Hooker, described the damage from the fire as “extensive,” saying that it caused the walls and roof to collapse. Hooker said that he believed, based on the victim’s injuries, photographs and interviews with neighbors, that there had been two fires. Hooker said he believed there was one fire in the front of the house and a second fire in the house that the victim came into direct contact with. The investigator conceded during cross-examination that there was no evidence of lighter fluid at the scene – other than the fluid baked into charcoal briquettes found near the grill. A second fire investigator testified that the fire could not have started without human intervention.

At the time of Andrews’ death, Boxley was reportedly awaiting trial on accusations that she tried to set her ex-husband on fire on Dec. 25, 2021.

At a hearing in August, Boxley’s ex-husband testified, “I woke up by cold liquid (being poured) on me and right at the moment, I didn’t know exactly what was happening because I was, just came out of a deep sleep. It was a small flame, I could see it on top of me, and all of a sudden I realized what was going on,” reported WNEM-TV. Boxley’s defense attorney told the court their client had a history of mental illness.

At the end of Friday’s proceedings, a judge found there was probable cause to bind over murder and arson charges to circuit court. “Fundamentally, there’s an inability to understand how she came out unscathed and he didn’t,” 96th District Court Judge Roger Kangas said as he bound over the case to circuit court.

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