Man accused of lighting girlfriend on fire ruled not competent for trial

Darryl Whipple indicted on first-degree murder in death of Golden Corral worker

File photo of Darryl Whipple in court
File photo of Darryl Whipple in court

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 60-year-old man accused of killing his girlfriend by lighting her on fire inside a Golden Corral has been ruled not competent for prosecution, according to Duval County court records. 

Carol Renee Demmons, 56, who worked at the Westside restaurant, was doused with lighter fluid by Darryl Tyrone Whipple, who then ignited her with a lighter as she ran away, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

Demmons suffered burns on 62 percent of her body in the Oct. 12, 2016, attack and later died at the UF Health Shands Hospital Burn Unit in Gainesville.

After Demmons' death, Whipple was indicted on a first-degree murder charge by a Duval County grand jury. He is also charged with burglary with assault or battery.

He pleaded not guilty to those charges in court, and the state filed notice that it intends to seek the death penalty. In the state's motion, prosecutors said the murder was committed in a cold and calculated manner without any moral or legal justification.

A judge set June 19 for a competency review.