CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A California man was arraigned on murder and arson charges Saturday morning after the woman he allegedly set on fire on a front porch in Charleston last weekend died.
Rachelle Jarrett, 44, of Charleston, died Friday at Cabell Huntington Hospital’s burn unit. She had been in critical condition.
Carl Magee, 34, was being held on arson, attempted murder and malicious wounding charges. Those were dismissed Saturday for the charge of first degree murder and first degree arson, Charleston Police Chief of Detectives Lt. Steve Cooper said.
According to the criminal complaint, police have a video, a witness and a confession.
“The video is Exhibit A,” Cooper said Saturday. “It’s very clear video and it tells the full story. It’s difficult to watch but it does tell the full story.”
The video, which is from a nearby home security camera, shows who police say is Magee walking up to the front porch of a house on Randolph Street where Jarrett and her boyfriend, David Lee Barrett, were sleeping last Sunday morning. According to police, the video shows Magee with a gasoline can heading toward the porch and Jarrett running off the porch on fire. Barrett told police he was able to escape but Magee lit his girlfriend on fire before she could get away.
Investigators allege Magee was targeting Barrett in connection with a previous incident. The criminal complaint says Magee confessed to the crime.
Magee was video arraigned on the murder charge from the South Central Regional Jail Saturday. He’s now being held without bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for next month.
Police and prosecutors have been in touch with Jarrett’s family, Cooper said.
“Our hearts go out to the family. Our condolences go out to the family. She was in grave condition from the beginning,” Cooper said.