Lompoc Father Dies Due to Injuries Days After Son Allegedly Set Him on Fire | Local News

A Lompoc man set on fire by his son earlier this month has died due to his injuries, Lompoc Police Chief Joe Mariani said Wednesday night.

The son, identified in the criminal complaint as Joseph Ashley Garcia Jr., 40, was arrested after Lompoc police were dispatched at 3:30 pm June 11 to the 200 block of North D Street for a report of a father and son fighting in the residence.

As officers arrived they asked the subject, identified by police as Joe Garcia Jr., to open the door so they could check on his father.

When he did not comply, officers forced open the door, and found the older man on fire. Officers extinguished the flames, police said.

The father, Joseph Michael Garcia, who reportedly is in his 60s, had third-degree burns, and was airlifted by helicopter to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital before being transferred to a burn center, according to police.

The Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office criminally charged Garcia with attempted murder and aggravated mayhem plus sentencing enhancements for causing great bodily injury.

The District Attorney’s Office likely will review the case to decide whether to amend the criminal complaint to include a murder allegation.

During a court hearing last week, Garcia’s defense attorney declared doubts about his mental competence, leading to court-ordered evaluations.

The psychologists will assess the defendant’s mental state including his ability or inability to understand the nature of the criminal proceeding and assist in his defense.

A mental competency hearing is planned for early July before Judge Von Deroian in Lompoc.

Garcia remained in custody at the Santa Barbara County Northern Branch Jail this week, with bail set at $1 million.

He is known in the community for being an outspoken advocate for the cannabis industry in Lompoc, often speaking at public meetings while wearing a cap with a marijuana leaf.

— Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.


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