Suspect in death of Burney man set on fire will not face death penalty

Suspect in death of Burney man set on...

BURNEY, Calif. - The death penalty will not be on the table for a man charged with setting a Burney man on fire and killing him.

Juan Manuel Venegas, 39, of Redding is accused of setting David Wicks, 53, on fire in December.

Venegas is charged with first-degree murder and he pled not guilty.

Shasta County District Attorney Stephanie Bridgett said they considered the death penalty for Venegas through a three part analysis.

Bridgett said they analyze the entirety of the case, the suspect's past criminal behavior, and the wishes of the victim's family.

"In this case, the surviving family members did not wish for us to seek the death penalty, and based on the committee review of the totality of the case as well as past criminality, an ultimate decision was made to not seek the death penalty in this case," Bridgett said.

Venegas has been convicted of receiving stolen property, DUI, flight from an officer and disturbing the peace.

He'll be back in court Friday morning when his trial date should be set.

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