Family break-in victim while woman in Augusta burn unit

ATHENS, Ga. -- Doctors on Thursday began to operate on an Athens woman fighting for her life two days after her boyfriend allegedly doused her with kerosene and set her on fire.


Elisa Denise "Lisa" Davenport remained in an induced coma, while surgeons at Doctors Hospital in Augusta prepared her for skin grafts, according to her brother, Eric Davenport.

Meanwhile, the victim's 13-year-old cousin and an older teen are accused of breaking into the west Athens home that Eric shares with his fiancee, Cynthia Randolph.

The burglars knew that the apartment would be empty, since Eric Davenport has been busy dealing with the family emergency, he said.

"We don't know if my sister is going to live or die, and for them to do something like this, it's just so sad that you got people out there like this," Eric Davenport said.

The cousin and 18-year-old Laquan Williams went to the couple's apartment at Parkview Homes Extension off West Broad Street about 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, police said, and after knocking on the door to make sure no one was home, they slipped in through a back window.

They stole Randolph's engagement ring, a laptop computer that Emory University loaned her as she studies to become a nurse's assistant, and $1,600 that Eric Davenport saved from his job as a mover to spend on their wedding.

"Every week, we'd put $20 or $30 in our marriage jar and watch it make progress," he said. "We wouldn't touch that money, but lately we've been taking some ... out of the jar because of what happened to my sister. That's how we were getting gas money to go back and forth to the hospital."

With his sister critically injured, Davenport's employer allowed him to take time off without pay until he is ready to return to work, he said.

In all, the thieves stole belongings valued at $6,432.

Eric Davenport was driving home Wednesday night when he saw his young cousin walking in his apartment complex with a Spiderman backpack that resembled one that belonged to Davenport's son.

He honked, but the 13-year-old looked away, as if trying to not be recognized.

"When I made it to the house a neighbor said my cousin and another boy were in our house, but I really didn't think that much of it because my mind was on my sister," Davenport said. "But when I walked inside, I saw they totally trashed it."

Officers found the two thieves at Williams' home on Highland Park Drive.

Both were charged with burglary, and Williams was charged with obstruction of a law enforcement officer and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, police said.

The older teen was booked into the Clarke County Jail, and deputies took Davenport's cousin to the Gainesville Regional Youth Detention Center.

"What happened lets me know, as a Christian, that we're living in some real bad times when there are family members that don't care and you have people setting other people on fire," Davenport said. "After what happened, I couldn't do nothing but hug my kids and fiancee as we cried together, and I pray for my sister, and I pray for those kids who broke into my home."

The man who Athens-Clarke police said intentionally burned Lisa Davenport - 49-year-old Phillip Scruggs - is held without bond at the Clarke County Jail on charges of aggravated assault and first-degree arson.

Davenport was trying to end her relationship with Scruggs - who previously served a two-year sentence for stabbing her with a screwdriver - when she was set afire in her apartment at Bethel Midtown Village.

The 4 a.m. fire gutted her apartment and spread to others in the 20-unit building north of downtown Athens, displacing other residents, police said.



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