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Daughter's charges upgraded to murder

LAWRENCEVILLE - A Norcross woman with a history of mental illness has been formally charged with dousing her mother in gasoline and burning her to death this week, documents show.

Na Yong Pak, 32, faces a single count of felony murder, upgraded Wednesday from earlier charges of aggravated assault and battery.

Police say Pak flew into a rage Tuesday afternoon, soaked her mother, Myong Hui Pak, 58, in the flammable liquid and set her ablaze inside the 5300 Langston Road townhome they shared with family.

The victim made her way outside to a next-door neighbor's gardening hose to extinguish herself, but died hours later of severe burns at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta.

Family members said Na Yong Pak has struggled with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and manic depression. She has refused to take medication prescribed during recent stays at Atlanta-area psychiatric institutions, family said. She was arrested in September on charges she beat her mother.

A preliminary hearing for Pak is scheduled Tuesday morning in Gwinnett Magistrate Court.