ALTON -- A man who has been charged with felony arson and second degree murder will be arraigned in Oregon County Court sometime this week.
Nicholas C. Pacheco, 19, is currently being held in the Howell County Jail at West Plains.
Oregon County Prosecuting Attorney Fred O'Neill charged Pacheco with knowingly damaging the jail at the Oregon County Courthouse by starting a fire Sept. 7, 2007. As a result of that fire, Jesse Johnson, 17, from Mammoth Spring died.
Several other inmates were in the jail when the fire started.
One of them was Robert Huff, 22, of Thayer. He was hospitalized at St. John's Hospital in Springfield being treated for injuries he received during the fire. He wrote a note to Green County Deputy, Kou Yang, who was guarding him while he was in the hospital, that said, "The Mexican kid did it, he started the fire. I don't want to be housed with the Mexican kid." Officer Yang said this was a voluntary statement and Huff had not been questioned by him or anyone else.
A fire investigator, Michael Johnson with the Missouri State Fire Marshal's Office in Jefferson City, said Pacheco piled papers, books, clothing and a mattresss together and ignited them with an unknown source.