Man sentenced to prison for attacking ex-girlfriend with firebomb in Redford

William Helmer in court after the 2019 attack

A man who firebombed his ex-girlfriend as she left her job at a Redford Coney Island in 2019 is headed to prison for the attack.

William Helmer, of Farmington Hills, was sentenced Wednesday to 40-80 years in prison. A jury convicted Helmer, who was also charged as a habitual offender, with assault with intent to murder.

Dorothy Spinnela was leaving work in November 2019 when she was told to come outside. As she left through the back door, Helmer threw an object in her face. Spinnela suffered burns over 40% of her body and was in a coma for months after the attack.

Helmer's extensive criminal record includes serving time for manslaughter, assault with intent to do great bodily harm, robbery, weapons charges, fleeing police, and more.

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