Man Charged With Murder in Death of W.Va. Firefighter

Davis Creek-Ruthdale Firefighter Joey King fell from the Steven Wayne Smith Memorial Bridge while trying to spot an arson fire late last year.


A man has been charged with murder in the death of a Davis Creek-Ruthdale firefighter who fell from a bridge while trying to spot a fire late last year.

Charles Darren Roberts -- who is accused of setting the fire -- was indicted on March 30 on charges of third-degree arson, fourth-degree arson and first-degree murder in Firefighter Joey King's line-of-duty death, according to The Charleston Daily Mail.

King and another firefighter responded to reports of a fire involving railroad ties north of Sproul Road near Alum Creek on Dec. 4.

They used the Steven Wayne Smith Memorial Bridge as a lookout point in an attempt to spot the fire, but heavy smoke and fog limited the visibility.

No one saw King fall from the bridge, but his body was later found on the embankment below.

The fire Roberts is accused of setting was located and extinguished.

According to fire investigators, Roberts told them he used a cardboard box to ignite a tire, which cause the railroad ties to catch fire.

He was initially charged with third-degree arson before the other charges were handed down by the grand jury last week.

Roberts is set to answer the indictment at 1 p.m. on April 11.