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Former teacher who lit himself on fire after allegedly immolating housemate dies

HAVERHILL - The Wentworth man accused of setting his housemate and himself on fire last summer died Saturday in Grafton County jail where he was being held on a first-degree murder charge.

Preliminary findings of an autopsy done Sunday reveal Barry Winters, 61, died from complications of his self-inflicted burns,authorities said in a statement Monday. Final cause of death is pending further tests, they said.

Winters allegedly doused Evelyn Spodnik, 57, with gasoline while she slept then lit her on fire June 29. He then lit himself on fire in an attempted murder-suicide. The two shared a house in Wentworth.

Spodnik, a mother of two adult daughters and long-time elementary school teacher, died from her wounds July 1 at a Boston hospital.

Winters, who suffered extensive burn wounds, had been treated at a Boston hospital until his release Dec. 27. He was arrested that same day and charged with the first-degree murder for allegedly killing Spodnik.

Winters, who also was a teacher, has been incarcerated at Grafton County House of Corrections in North Haverhill since his return to New Hampshire on Jan. 3.

Officials said it could take about six weeks to receive final test results.

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