Homeless man charged in LA-area arson killing

AP News
Posted: Apr 16, 2013 7:38 PM

LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Los Angeles County prosecutors say a 38-year-old homeless man suspected of setting a man on fire in a car outside a convenience store has been charged with murder.

Raymond Sean Clark pleaded not guilty Tuesday to one count each of murder and arson causing great bodily injury.

The allegations include special circumstances that would make him eligible for the death penalty, but prosecutors have not decided whether they'll seek it.

Clark remains jailed without bail.

Authorities say 63-year-old Jerry Payne was in his SUV outside a Long Beach 7-Eleven Friday when Clark walked up and tossed a flammable substance inside, enveloping Payne in flames.

Bystanders helped douse Payne with water but he died at a hospital Monday.

Clark was arrested nearby. Investigators are trying to determine what motivated the attack.