Man set on fire by transient while in SUV dies of burn injuries

On behalf of Rawson, Merrigan, & Litner, LLP Posted in Burn Injuries on 04/24/13

Massachusetts residents who have been burned before know that it is painful. Even a burn that looks small can be life-threatening. Sadly, a California man has died from burn injuries he suffered after a homeless man threw something inside the other man’s SUV, which caused it to catch fire.

The 63-year-old man from Long Beach was sitting alone inside his SUV while parked outside a 7-Eleven on the evening of April 12. He was approached by the 38-year-old transient, who threw a flammable substance inside the SUV. Witnesses aided in putting out the flames, but it was not enough. The man died at a hospital two days later.

The suspect was arrested a block away. Originally arrested for attempted murder, he now faces murder charges and increased bail. It is currently at more than $500,000. The two men did not know each other, and there was no motive for the attack.

This seems like a very random situation. Why would the man put a flammable substance in another man’s vehicle? What was the purpose? Was he trying to hurt or kill the SUV driver? There appears to be many unanswered questions, as there is no motive or clear reasoning as to why the man did what he did.

The homeless man could be charged with second-degree murder in this case. Since he supposedly did not know the other man, it would be hard to prove that this was premeditated and, therefore, considered a first-degree murder case. This situation does, however, have elements of dangerous conduct and disregard for human life.

Source: CBS Los Angeles, “Man Dies Of Burn Injuries 3 Days After Being Set On Fire,” April 15, 2013.