Woman accused of setting home on fire after tattoo mistake - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Woman accused of setting home on fire after drunken tattoo mistake

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The tattoo on 32-year-old Starr Burgess' neck. The tattoo on 32-year-old Starr Burgess' neck.
Starr Burgess Starr Burgess
PONTIAC, Mich. (WJBK) -
"I guess I passed out.  She passed out and like her neck got messed up," said tattoo artist Melissa Melton.

It's messed up alright.  Melton was a little wasted when she did a tattoo on a woman's neck.  It was supposed to say "Sequoia".  Instead, it looks like something off an Etch A Sketch.

Here's why.  Not only did Melton pass out while doing the tattoo, so did the drunk recipient, 32-year-old Starr Burgess.

When Burgess woke up from her drunken stupor, she wasn't happy her goddaughter's name looked like it did.  She wanted her money back.  There was an argument, and Starr went to a nearby gas station at 2:47 Tuesday morning and bought some gasoline.  Surveillance video shows her tucking her change back into her bikini top.  Investigators say she then returned to Melton's Pontiac home and set it on fire.

"I came back and it was like 'We're going to burn this [expletive] down,' and they poured gas," Melton said.

"They were awakened by a whooshing sound when the fire was lit outside of this window," said Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard.

"It went up like that quick, and I got two little kids in the house," said Melton.

Seven people were inside the home, including children.  Fortunately, Melton's brother had just bought a hose and was able to put out the fire.

Burgess is charged with a 20 year felony.  The sheriff said everyone is lucky the outcome wasn't much worse.

"Burning an occupied building, very little has to go wrong before you've got somebody dead," Bouchard said.

However, in this case, everybody was safe.  As for Burgess, she already has a multitude of tattoos, some done by Melton, and Melton had done two other tattoos for her Monday night before they got too drunk and passed out, including one of the Pontiac gang NWO.

Melton said the Etch A Sketch-looking tattoo is really not a reflection of her usual work, which she and her friends proudly display.  Rather it was a mistake she feels really bad about.

"I shouldn't drink when I do them," she said.

"First word of caution, if you're going to have a tattoo, maybe go to a professional, licensed, registered, tattoo parlor and not have you and the tattoo artist drunk at the time," said Bouchard.
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