The man accused of starting the deadly fire that killed his parents, sister, and injured two other siblings appeared in court Wednesday.
Wilber Romero, 27, appeared by video conference. He faces three counts of first-degree murder, two counts of attempted first-degree murder, and arson in connection to his family’s home catching fire last October.
Romero wore long hair, dark clothing, and a mask. He appeared calm and attentive as various witnesses took the stand to recount what they came across on the morning of October 13, the day a deadly house fire took the lives of his parents, sister, and injured two of his siblings.
Angel and his sister Wendy were badly injured and hospitalized. Wilber was also hospitalized but released shortly after the fire.
Gary Phillips, a detective with the San Diego Metro Arson Strike Team, recalled his conversation with Wilber Romero on the morning of the fire at his family home in Logan Heights.
“He wasn't distraught or upset, he was just quiet,” said Phillips. “I attempted to talk to him, but he was speaking way to low. He didn't appear to be crying, he wasn't upset."
Romero was arrested on suspicion of arson in connection with the house fire that killed his family.
Detective Phillips said there was an item found on Romero when he was arrested.
"She [the arresting officer] said he removed a silver lighter from his front pocket," said Phillips.
According to investigators, Romero also had a huskie when he was detained.
Another witness on the stand walked us through his interview with Angel, Wilber's brother, saying Wilber had previously made threats to kill everyone in the house and was known to start smaller fires at home.
The preliminary hearing continues Thursday. The judge will then decide if there is enough evidence to send the case to trial.