View Full Version : Hispanic arrested for murder of Burney man set on fire and burned alive

12-22-2016, 02:47 PM

$10,000 reward offered in burning death of Burney man
1:21 p.m. PST December 22, 2016

Shasta County Sheriff’s deputies on Thursday hunted for a person suspected of setting on fire and killing a 54-year-old Burney man.

The shocking crime, called "a horrific chain of events" by investigators, has the family and friends of David Wicks, 54, of Burney, in mourning as they question why someone would attack a man they describe a "great guy" who never had anything bad to say.

Deputies at about 7 p.m. responded to the Rocky Ledge Shell Station, about 3 miles east of central Burney on Highway 299 in the Johnson Park area, for report of a fire at the gas station. There, medics found Wicks, who works at the store, suffering from severe burns.

They took him via helicopter to a local hospital, where he died, Bertain said.

Sheriff's detectives reviewed video surveillance from the store, which showed an unidentified person walking into the store, spraying Wicks with a liquid and lighting Wicks on fire as he walks out from behind the store counter, Bertain said.

The suspect was wearing what appeared to be yellow rain gear over a black hoodie and gloves, according to a surveillance image provided by detectives.

Deputies have no other description beyond what's shown in surveillance footage, though they did find a bicycle nearby.

12-23-2016, 05:58 AM

David Wicks (pictured), a gas station attendant, has been killed after he was attacked and set on fire in Northern California

Security footage shows the attacker walking into the gas station wearing yellow rain gear, gloves and a hoodie

01-20-2017, 05:13 AM

Arrest in murder of Burney man set on fire
Arrest in murder of Burney man set on fire

BURNEY, Calif. - An investigation into the murder David Wick, a gas station attendant in Johnson Park, has led to the arrest of a Burney man.

On Thursday, around 12:30 p.m., detectives with the Shasta County Sheriff's Office, Major Crimes Unit arrested Juan Manuel Venegas, 39, based upon evidence collected and identified during the month long investigation. Venegas was arrested at his residence on Telecaster Lane in west Redding.

Venegas was arrested on an arrest warrant for the murder of David Wicks.

01-22-2017, 12:31 PM

http://static.lakana.com/bmg-krcrtv-media-us-east-1/photo/2017/01/20/Wicks%20followup20170121043915_5677581_ver1.0_640_ 360.jpg

REDDING, Calif. - Detectives of the Shasta County Sheriff's Office are still unsure of the motive behind the murder of 53-year-old David Wicks of Burney.

On Thursday afternoon, 39-year-old Juan Manuel Venegas was arrested in Redding on a warrant for the murder of Wicks.

The night of Wednesday, December 21, Wicks was killed during his shift at the Rocky Ledge Shell station in Johnson Park. The Shasta County Sheriff's Office said Venegas is suspected of dousing Wicks in flammable fluid and setting him on fire, a scene that was caught on the gas station's surveillance cameras.

Two days after the incident, the Sheriff's Office said they found a yellow suit and black beach cruiser bicycle resembling the one Venegas is suspected of wearing in the surveillance footage.

Lt. Troy Clegg of the Shasta County Sheriff's Office said that Venegas' DNA was found on pieces of evidence collected from the scene of the crime and analyzed by the Department of Justice's criminal lab.

Lt. Anthony Bertain said three pieces of evidence, specifically, were analyzed; however, he would not disclose what the items were.

Lt. Bertain did confirm that Venegas has been considered a possible suspect from early on in the investigation.

"He's originally from the inner mountain area, yes," he said of Venegas' location prior to moving to Redding.

According to the Shasta County Clerk's Criminal Division, Venegas has been convicted four times for misdemeanors between 2012 and 2014. Two other misdemeanor cases were dismissed in 2014.

Kyle Cantrell, a close friend of Wicks, said he knows Venegas personally and that he was not surprised to learn that Venegas had been arrested due to his prior arrests and drug use. However, he added that he was surprised because he doesn't know why Venegas would target Wicks, specifically.

"Even Sonja, Dave's wife, can't really think of a time that she ever saw (Venegas) in the store, and David never brought it up or she would've certainly recognized the name," he said. "She knows who he is, but none of us can ever think of a time that he was in there or a problem would've occurred; but, we don't know, and the only person who would know unfortunately is no longer with us."

Lt. Bertain said investigators from the Major Crimes Unit will continue to investigate the incident.

"We're still investigating all motives as to why this occurred. Again, I'm not going to elaborate as to what we have or why he decided to do this against Mr. Wicks, but it's interesting, to say the least, as to why he would do something like this," he said.

A memorial service for David Wicks will be held on Saturday, January 21 at 2 p.m. in the gymnasium of Burney High School. It is open to the public.