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Jonathon White trial: Day 2

Jonathon White, 28, is accused of setting his ex-girlfriend, Jessica Cameron, on fire outside a Tim Hortons in December.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Day two in the trial of Jonathon White is set to begin with the prosecution's second witness.

White, 28, is charged with attempted murder.  He is accused of setting his ex-girlfriend, Jessica Cameron, on fire outside a Tim Hortons in December. 

Cameron sustained extensive burns to her face, head and hands. She spent several months in the burn unit at ECMC. She is currently home, still recovering from her physical injuries.

Wednesday's first witness to take the stand for the prosecution is City of Tonawanda Police Officer Joseph Rank. Rank says he responded to a call for a "person on fire."  He testified that when he arrived on scene, there was a "grayish smoke and a haze" coming from the dumpster area of the Tim Hortons.

City of Tonawanda Police Captain Jamin Butcher also testified. Butcher said he smelled burning flesh and the source of the of the smell was Jessica Cameron.

City of Tonawanda Police Detective David Ljiljanich testified that he executed a search warrant at the home of Jonathon White. He says he found two gas cans in the driveway at the residence.

Cameron's family was in the courtroom for Wednesday's testimony.

On the first day of testimony, Lt. Scott Sheehan from the City of Tonawanda Police was called to the stand to testify about body cameras. Both the prosecution and defense argued the admissibility of videos recorded by body cameras worn by officers. The judge ruled they could be admitted into evidence. Jurors viewed one officer's body camera footage, but the judge recessed court until Wednesday because of the length of the videos.

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In their opening statement on Tuesday, the prosecution said White brought gasoline and poured a gallon over the head of Cameron. Using a lighter, he set her on fire. 

“78 seconds, Jessica Cameron was engulfed in flames. As the flames tore through her body, Jessica was awake and alert,” said the prosecution.

White and Cameron had been in a relationship for more than seven years and have three children together.  At the time of the incident, Cameron had already moved out and had started dating someone else, according to prosecutors.

White's defense attorney said in court that White was seen on surveillance video "trying to help Jessica."

The first witness to testify was a Tim Hortons employee, who worked with Jessica when the incident happened.  Peter Thompson does maintenance for Tim Hortons. He told jurors he was on a cigarette break when he heard a blood curdling scream. He testified he saw Cameron and White near the dumpsters, both of them on fire. He said he ran into the building and told co-workers to call 911. He then got a bucket of water and poured it on Cameron.

On Thursday both Cameron and White are expected to testify. Court will reconvene at 9:30 a.m. Thursday.

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