http://www.thestarpress.com/articles/0/021659-8940-001.html Man charged with arson, attempted murder By T.J. WILHAM MUNCIE - A man and his girlfriend had to jump out of their second-story window Monday morning after the woman's former boyfriend set their house on fire in an attempt to kill them, police said. The ex-boyfriend, Ball State University student Lee J. Lillie, 21, 2820 N. Everbrook Lane, was in custody late Monday at the Delaware County jail on preliminary charges of attempted murder and arson. He is being held without bail and is on suicide watch. "Had they not jumped out of that window, we would have had fatalities," said David Miller, chief investigator for the Muncie Fire Department. "They could have been dead easily." At 3:22 a.m. firefighters were called to 119 W. Webber St., after Geoff Ginther, 22, and his girlfriend Sara Butler, 20, both Ball State students, jumped out of a second story bedroom window wearing nothing but their underwear in attempt to escape flames that engulfed Ginther's house. The two were asleep when smoke awoke Ginther, who immediately woke up his girlfriend, checked the bedroom door, saw smoke, felt heat and realized there was no way out. "There was no other option but to jump," Ginther told The Star Press Monday evening. "We would not be able to last in that room. The smoke was choking." So, Ginther picked up his cell phone, led his girlfriend, who was groggy and did not have her glasses, to the window and persuaded her to jump first. "I didn't want her to get nervous and back out. I wanted to make sure she got down there all right" said Ginther who jumped seconds after Butler landed safely. "I had so much adrenaline pumping at the time that I didn't hardly feel the fall at all." Once on the ground, Ginther used his cell phone to call 911. When firefighters arrived the two were standing in their yard covered in soot. Immediately the couple told authorities about problems they had been experiencing with Lillie since Butler broke up with him a month earlier and started dating Ginther. Police said that since the year-long relationship, ended, Lillie had been calling Butler threatening to kill her new boyfriend. He even sent text messages on her cell phone, police said. And, about four hours before the fire, Ginther called police, reporting that a tire on his truck had been slashed. Investigators suspect Lillie might have been involved. When he was being questioned, Lillie told city detectives that he had poured lighter fluid on a couch in the front porch and set it on fire, according to arrest records. Lillie told investigators that "he couldn't take it anymore, and no one would listen to him." He also said that he started the fire in front because he knew Ginther and Butler would be able to get out the back door. However, investigators said Monday that didn't matter, and Lillie could still be charged with attempted murder. "He knew people were inside, and that's the bottom line," Muncie police Sgt. Steve Cox said. "[The couple] are extremely lucky. The potential was there for this to be much worse." Fire officials said that Ginther's home is not livable; however, it could be rebuilt. Fire destroyed the porch and a living room, and heat and smoke badly damaged the rest of the home that sits just a block away from Walnut Street. "Right now, all of this is very surreal," Ginther said. "It's a shock that it escalated this far overnight. I believe he had a lot hatred towards me."