EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSFIREFIGHTER DEATH
from Eyewitness News Online
Man Indicted For Murder Of Firefighter Who Fell To His Death
Reported by: Kallie Cart
Web Producer: Bethany Simmons
Reported: Apr. 2, 2012 1:48 PM EDT
Updated: Apr. 2, 2012 6:47 PM EDT
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
A fireman killed while investigating an arson, now, the man accused of setting that fire has been indicted for first degree murder.
Charles Darren Roberts was originally charged with third degree arson but was recently indicted on the murder charge.
Prosecutors say most people think first degree murder means a person committed a crime with the intent to kill but they say when Roberts allegedly set fire to a cardboard box and several railroad ties back in December he was committing a felony. The felony of arson allegedly lead to the death of Joey King, a volunteer firefighter with the Davis Creek-Ruthdale Volunteer Fire Department.
King was on the Steven Wayne Memorial Bridge on Corridor G, looking for the fire on the railroad tracks below, when he fell from the bridge and died.
King's sister says she was shocked when she heard Roberts was charged with murder but is happy and says the only reason her brother was on the bridge is because Roberts allegedly set the fire.
Prosecutors say with felony murder, which is the same as first degree, it's first degree or nothing. Roberts can't face a lesser charge for King's death, not even manslaughter. Prosecutors feel their case is strong but admit it's unusual.
Roberts is also charged with third and fourth degree arson, which carry only a couple years of jail time. He remains in jail on a $250,000 bond. We called to see if he would want to talk about the recent murder indictment, but he did not.
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