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Man accused of arson in firefighter's death now faces murder charge

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A man who allegedly started a fire that led to the death of a Kanawha County volunteer firefighter now faces a murder charge.

WSAZ.com reports that a grand jury indicted 37-year-old Charles Darren Roberts on first-degree murder and several arson charges.

Joey King, 61, of the Davis Creek Ruthdale Volunteer Fire Department died in December after falling from the Steven Wayne Smith Memorial Bridge in the Alum Creek area of Corridor G.

King and other members of the department had responded to a call of a fire involving a large pile of railroad ties around 2 a.m.when the incident occurred. The firefighters had stopped on the bridge to locate the fire.

The Kanawha County Sheriff's Department later arrested Roberts and charged him with third-degree arson. Roberts reportedly told detectives that he had ignited a cardboard box to catch a tire on fire. The fire then ignited about 160 railroad ties.


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