Man pleads guilty in fatal Long Beach arson attack

Pierre DesRosiers/Getty Images
Photo credit Pierre DesRosiers/Getty Images

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KNX) — A man pleaded guilty on Friday to murder and arson charges arising from incident that occurred more than nine years ago.

Raymond Sean Clark, now 47, is facing 25 years to life in state prison in connection with an attack on 63-year-old Jerry Payne who was sitting in a car outside a Long beach convenience store in 2013.

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In court on Friday, Clark admitted to throwing a flammable substance into Payne’s vehicle through the driver’s side window. Clark’s car was parked in the lot of a 7-Eleven store located in the 5100 block of Pacific Coast Highway.

The substance ignited, causing significant, fatal burns to Payne’s body. Witnesses came to Payne’s aid by extinguishing the fire, but he nevertheless succumbed to his injuries three days later.

Clark was arrested the day of the attack, a few blocks from the scene. Investigators were not able to clarify a motive for the attack, even after nine years of investigation.

Clark will return to Long Beach court on March 30 for sentencing.

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