Yvette Cade, the Prince George’s County woman who made national headlines when her husband doused her with gasoline and set her on fire, will tell her own story of survival in a new TV One series premiering Sunday (Sept. 18), titled “Will to Live.”
In 2006, Cade was working at a T-Mobile store in Clinton when her estranged husband, Roger B. Hargrave, entered the shop with a soda bottle full of gasoline and began pouring it on her head. Two weeks earlier, a judge had mockingly dismissed her temporary restraining order against him.
Using reenactments – along with input from Cade, various members of her family, the assistant fire chief who responded, law enforcement who were involved in the case and even former state’s attorney Glenn Ivey, who ultimately sent Hargrave to prison for life – “Will to Live” presents the harrowing details of that day from points of view that have yet to be told.
Yvette’s mother Joyce Cade explains how she first met Hargrave at her sister’s house and thought he “seemed like a nice guy.” She recalls telling him, “I have three daughters, you might like the middle one, Yvette.”
Yvette’s daughter Champane, then 8-years-old, recalls the bad vibes she felt from the man her mom was dating. “I remember my mother telling me that they were going to get married,” she says. “I just told her that I felt like there was something in my heart that said that he’s not the right person.”
Champane’s reservations turned out to be valid shortly after the wedding, when Hargrave began to drink and become physically abusive to Yvette. Even more disturbing was her treatment by former Prince George’s County District Judge Richard Palumbo, who laughed off Cade’s plea for a protective order against Hargrove, saying, “Well I’d like to be 6 foot 5, but that’s not what we do here.”
Three weeks after dismissing the order, Palumbo’s retort would also make national headlines when Hargrove showed up at the T-Mobile store were Yvette worked and set her on fire. The show includes the actual surveillance footage from the store that shows the disturbing turn of events.
Also, graphic photos of Cade’s burned body are shown, underscoring just how much she has endured and how far she has come. Today, she is a motivational speaker and a counselor for victims of domestic violence. She shared her story on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in May of 2006.
The same year, Hargrave was convicted of first-degree attempted murder and first- and second-degree assault; he’s serving a life sentence at the Western Correctional Institution in Cumberland, Md. In October of 2005, Judge Palumbo was forcibly removed from the bench.
Cade’s episode, titled “A Fire Within,” is the second of TV One’s two back-to-back premieres of “Will to Live” on Sunday, Sept. 18. The first episode, “Living Witness” begins at 8 p.m., followed by Cade’s episode at 8:30.
View two clips from Cade’s “A Fire Within” in the video player at left.