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Transient charged in fatal arson attack at Long Beach 7-Eleven

April 16, 2013|By Ruben Vives

A 38-year-old homeless man suspected of setting another man on fire as he sat in his SUV outside a Long Beach 7-Eleven was charged Tuesday with capital murder.

Raymond Sean Clark was scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday afternoon in Los Angeles County Superior Court in Long Beach, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

Clark also was charged with special circumstance murder and arson causing great bodily injury for the April 12 attack that killed Jerry Payne, 63.  

The attack occurred around 5:30 p.m. at the corner of Clark Avenue and Pacific Coast Highway. Authorities accused Clark of walking up to Payne, who was sitting inside his green Toyota 4-runner at the time, and tossing a flammable substance inside. The vehicle and Payne caught fire.

Long Beach police said several witnesses rushed to Payne’s aid, but not before he was critically injured with burns over most of his body.

Shortly after the attack, Clark was arrested around the corner from the scene. He was initially arrested Friday night on suspicion of attempted murder and on two outstanding warrants.  

Payne was taken by ambulance to a hospital, where he had been listed in critical condition until his death Monday. Authorities rebooked Clark on suspicion of murder and presented the case to the district attorney’s office.

Authorities have not established a motive for the attack. They say they are still looking for witnesses who have not come forward.

Anyone with information about the attack is asked to call Long Beach Homicide Dets. Scott Lasch and Donald Goodman at (562) 570-7244.  

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Twitter: @latvives

ruben.vives@latimes.com

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