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Lompoc man pleads not guilty to murder of father

Police say he set his father on fire last mon
Posted at 12:50 PM, Jul 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-07 15:50:58-04

A Lompoc man charged with setting his father on fire last month and causing his death has pleaded not guilty.

Joe Garcia Jr. entered the plea in Santa Barbara County Superior Court Tuesday.

Lompoc police say they responded to a report of a fight between a father and son at a home in the 200 block of North D St. on June 11.

When officers arrived, they say Garcia Jr. refused to open the door. They forced the door open and reportedly found that Joe Garcia Sr. had been set on fire and was actively burning.

The fire was extinguished and police say Garcia Sr. was taken to a burn center.

The newly-filed criminal complaint alleges he died around 10 days later.

Garcia is charged with murder and three enhancements, including torture, which he has denied.

A mental competency hearing for him has been scheduled for July 13.