Arsonist Who Set Girlfriend on Fire Gets 25 to Life in Prison

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BUFFALO, NY – On Monday, 34-year-old Frank J. Bredt, Jr. was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison after being convicted for setting his girlfriend on fire and killing her inside their Manhattan Avenue home in Buffalo.

According to police records, 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,” Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said.

Bredt, 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. 

Flynn said Bredt was found guilty, as charged, of two counts of Murder in the Second Degree (Class “A-I” felonies). The jury rendered their decision after 4 ½ hours of deliberation following a 6-day trial on March 29, 2022.

“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 DA John Flynn.