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Lompoc man charged for lighting father on fire pleas not guilty

LOMPOC, Calif. – A Lompoc man who was charged for allegedly lighting his father on fire in June pleaded not guilty to the murder charges on Tuesday, according to the Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office.

Joseph Ashley Garcia, 40, was charged with murder and a special circumstance of murder involving torture on Tuesday, but denied both and pled not guilty.

The charges stem from a June 11 incident in which Garcia allegedly set his father on fire after a fight broke out between the two.

The father, Joe Garcia, Sr., sustained third-degree burns and was airlifted to Cottage Hospital before being transferred to a burn center. He died from the injuries on June 21.

Garcia was originally charged with attempted murder and aggravated mayhem, but new charges were filed following his father's death.

Garcia's attorney also declared a doubt about his competency at the Tuesday arraignment, according to the District Attorney's Office.

Garcia's next court appearance is July 13.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Maria - Lompoc - North County
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Jade Martinez-Pogue

Jade Martinez-Pogue is the Assignment Editor and web journalist at News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Jade, click here

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