Police said Roderick Sanders poured gasoline on his 20-year-old girlfriend, Shyona Perry, and ignited it.
Perry had burns over 25 percent of her body and scars from skin grafts over another 25 percent. She had to spend three weeks in the Burn Center in Chapel Hill.
Raleigh Police Department arrested Sanders and charged him with the crime. Orginally, he and his family claimed Perry burned herself.
Perry later told ABC11 Eyewitness News that Sanders set her on fire after beating and choking her unconscious, because she'd threatened to leave him and take their 8-month-old daughter with her.
"It's not fair, it's not fair, there's nothing fair about it," Perry told Eyewitness News in November 2009. "I'm going through a lot that I should have to go through, because as I've said, I've done nothing wrong. It's not my fault."
Last week, Sanders plead guilty to assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury and second degree arson and was sentenced to 50-70 months in prison.
Before his latest crime, Sanders had been arrested many times for crimes like assault, resisting arrest, breaking and entering, drug possession, robbery and kidnapping.