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Long Beach firebomb suspect pleads not guilty

November 8, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
The suspect in a firebombing attack in front of a Long Beach store pleaded not guilty in court on Thursday.

Jacob Lagarde was charged last month with one count of attempted murder and five other felony counts for throwing a Molotov cocktail at a man, which set him on fire.

The violent crime occurred on Oct. 19, and it was all captured on surveillance camera. The security footage shows a man outside of a Long Beach market, engulfed in flames. The suspect was seen running after throwing the Molotov cocktail at the man.

The victim, described as a 54-year-old man, is alive and recovering from his injuries, which include serious burns to his hands, face and lower body. The victim was sitting outside the market on PCH waiting for his father at the time of the attack.

Authorities arrested Lagarde, 27, in connection with the crime. They had to enlist the help of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents due to the nature of the attack. Authorities tracked him down at a Long Beach apartment complex.

Investigators say Lagarde is a known gang member with a lengthy criminal history. In fact, hours before the Molotov cocktail attack, Lagarde had just been released from jail from a drug possession charge. Other prior felony convictions include robbery, grand theft and drug offenses, according to the district attorney.

Now, in addition to attempted murder, he is also facing arson charges. A motive for the attack was not determined.

If convicted of attempted murder, Lagarde faces life in prison without the possibility of parole. Lagarde's bail was set at $1.2 million. His next court appearance was scheduled for Dec. 5.


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