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Son started deadly Logan Heights house fire, escaped through side door, prosecutors say

Posted at 1:30 PM, Oct 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-22 20:24:32-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- The man accused of killing his parents and sister in a Logan Heights house fire pleaded not guilty in court Tuesday.

Wilber Romero, 26, is facing charges that include first-degree murder and arson in the October 13 blaze.

The fire started around 4:30 a.m. on the 3100 block of Clay Street.

44-year-old Jose Romero died at the scene while his wife and daughter, Nicolasa Maya-Romero, 46, and Iris Romero, 21, died at the hospital in the days following the blaze.

The family’s 23-year-old daughter remains hospitalized. A 16-year-old son, who was injured when he escaped out a window, was released following treatment.

RELATED: Family's oldest son charged in Logan Heights house fire deaths

Prosecutors in court Tuesday said Wilber started the fire before escaping through a side door, taking the family's dog with him.

Wilber is being held on $5 million bail and faces life in prison if convicted.

Court documents show the fire wasn’t the first time he allegedly targeted his family. Wilber reportedly attacked his father with a brick and rocks and damaged his car in September of 2018.

The incident prompted a police standoff that ended when police shot bean bags at Wilber and released a police dog, documents show.

The documents go on to state Wilber was in a car accident when he was 6-years-old and that he has suffered from a learning disability since the crash.

According to the documents, Wilber also struggled with drug addiction.