WASHINGTON – A Zimbabwean man faces a lengthy jail sentence in the United States after allegedly pounding his wife with a hammer and setting his family house on fire in a possible murder-suicide attempt.
Golden Makusha, 52, of 9600 Morning Walk Drive, Hagerstown, Maryland, has been charged with two counts of first and second-degree assault, respectively, arson in the first degree, two counts of reckless endangerment, and other offenses, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday.
After hammering his wife in the frenzied attack, Makusha was found lying unconscious on top of an overturned mower in the garage with two vehicles on fire, an apparent arson.
He was flown to a medical facility where he remains hospitalized, police said.
Makusha’s bloodied wife, who was found at a neighbour’s house by responding officers, said the accused attempted to strangle her by wrapping his hands around her neck, and that when their adult child intervened, he tried to assault her.
Another child then dialed 911 and called the police as the two siblings escaped.
The wife said, “she was in bed and awoke to her husband beating her with a hammer.”
“The victim was covered in blood due to severe lacerations to the top and left side of her head. Injuries to her hands and arms were also observed,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement.
While emergency medical personnel were treating Makusha’s wife, the sheriff said, smoke started emitting from the couple’s residence garage, forcing firefighters to storm in, where they found Makusha “unconscious, lying on top of an upside-down push mower. A bottle of lighter fluid was located on the garage floor next to him.”
The sheriff added: “Two vehicles within the garage were actively burning when entry was made. Members of the Community Volunteer Fire Company of District 12, the Funkstown Volunteer Fire Company, the Halfway Volunteer Fire Company, and the Hagerstown Fire Department were on scene and extinguished the fire.”
“Makusha was removed from the garage and initially transported to Meritus Medical Center but later flown to Bay View Burn Center for further treatment.
The victim was transported to Meritus Medical Center to treat her injuries; no one else was injured as a result of the incident.”
Makusha and his wife were said to have recently returned from a trip in Zimbabwe.