Jury finds Frank Bredt guilty of murdering girlfriend by setting her on fire

This week 33-year-old Frank J. Bredt, Jr. of Buffalo guilty of two counts of Murder in the Second Degree (Class “A” felonies). The jury rendered their decision late this morning after 4 ½ hours of deliberation following a 6-day trial.

On January 11, 2018, at approximately 3:30 a.m., the defendant, with the intent to cause her death, poured an accelerant onto his girlfriend and set her on fire inside of their home on Manhattan Avenue in the City of Buffalo. In the course of setting the victim on fire the defendant set fire to himself and the home.

Members of the Buffalo Fire Department and the Buffalo Police Department responded to the fire where they found the body of the victim, 28-year-old Elisabeth Bell, on the second floor of the home. Five other people were able to escape the blaze, including the victim’s 7-year-old daughter who suffered burns to her feet.

The defendant, while being burned by the flames, ran out of the house and attempted to hide. He was located a short time later in a nearby home with severe burns to his body. He was taken by ambulance to ECMC where he remained hospitalized for over a year in the Burn Treatment Center.

The defendant was indicted by a Grand Jury for the murder of Elisabeth Bell. He was held without bail after he was arraigned at ECMC on the indictment on April 18, 2018.

Bredt faces a maximum of 25 years to life in prison when he is sentenced on May 2, 2022 at 9:30 a.m.

“This is one of the most horrific domestic violence homicide cases that has been prosecuted by my office. This defendant intentionally killed his girlfriend by burning her alive in her bedroom. I hope this defendant understands the excruciating pain that he caused this young mother after being severely burned as a result of his murderous actions. The family of Elisabeth Bell has waited a long time for justice and I hope they feel that justice has been served,” said Erie County District Attorney John Flynn.

The District Attorney commended Detective John Paradowski of the Buffalo Police Homicide Squad, Fire Marshal Paul Simonian and the Buffalo Fire Department Fire Investigation Unit for their work in this investigation.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Ryan D. Haggerty of the Homicide Unit and Assistant District Attorney Rebecca M. Schnirel of the Major Crimes Unit.

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