A man’s conviction for throwing a Molotov cocktail at a man outside a Long Beach market in 2012 and seriously injuring him was upheld yesterday by a state appellate court panel.
The defense’s contention that there was not enough evidence showing Long Beach resident Jacob Timothy Lagarde deliberated before committing the October 19, 2012 act and intended to kill the victim was rejected by the three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal.
The justices noted in a 14-page ruling that the jury heard evidence that Lagarde said to a fellow jail inmate after the attack that he wanted to “light a dude on fire” and randomly chose the victim, who was waiting for his father outside a market on the 200 block of West Pacific Coast Highway.
“The record shows significant evidence of deliberation and premeditation,” the justices found. “Lagarde completed several steps over an extended period of time to complete the act: He obtained a bottle at one location and immediately emptied it out. He went to a second location to obtain gasoline to put in the bottle. He retrieved newspaper to use as a wick, and assembled a Molotov cocktail. He approached the victim, and then lit and threw the device.”
The 54-year-old victim suffered second- and third-degree burns to his legs and feet and was in the hospital for several months.
Acting on a tip, detectives arrested Lagarde at a Long Beach apartment complex four days after the attack.
Lagarde was convicted of one count each of attempted murder, explosion with intent to murder and explosion causing mayhem or great bodily injury, as well as three counts of arson.
He was sentenced in 2015 to 39 years and eight months to life in state prison.
City News Service contributed to this report.