A homeless Santa Paula man will face murder charges when he returns to court next week. Police and prosecutors accuse him of pouring a flammable liquid on another homeless man and setting him on fire.
The incident took place on May 13 at Veterans Park in Santa Paula. The victim suffered burns over half of his body. Responders took the man to the UCLA Medical Center for treatment. He died there from his injuries about 10 days after the incident.
Prosecutors initially charged the suspect with assault with a deadly weapon, causing great bodily harm during the commission of a felony. He also faced charges of felony aggravated mayhem with a special deadly weapon allegation. Prosecutors upgraded those charges to first-degree murder after the victim’s death. He also faces arson charges. Authorities are holding him at the Ventura County Jail on a bail of $1M. If convicted, the suspect faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The suspect has a long history of contact with local policing agencies, including more than 70 arrests. His arrest record includes mostly minor offenses, including drug possession, weapons possession and battery.
Santa Paula murder lawyer
Murder is the most serious charge you can face. The prosecutor may also add special allegations, which further increase your risk of receiving the death penalty. A first degree murder conviction can result in lifetime incarceration without the possibility of parole. Your life is literally at stake. If you’re facing murder charges in Ventura County, you need the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney like Robert Helfend.
Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of experience in criminal defense, and will fight aggressively for your rights. His first priority will be to get the charges against you reduced or dropped. When that’s not a possibility, he will fight aggressively to ensure the best possible outcome for your case.
Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura County murder case.
Photo Credit: MiloszB, via Flickr.com