JUNEAU – A 21-year-old Cambria man was charged Wednesday with eight misdemeanors in connection with a fire that killed 18-year-old Victor Manuel Aguilar-Bustamante early Saturday morning in the Town of Calamus.
Jose J. Hernandez Jr. was charged with disorderly conduct, two counts of criminal damage to property, two counts of criminal trespassing in a dwelling and one count each of burglary, theft of moveable property under $2,500 and negligent handling of burning material.
An initial hearing is scheduled for Friday morning.
If convicted, he faces up to five-and-a-half years in jail and $71,000 in fines.
According to the criminal complaint, the body of Victor M. Aguilar-Bustamante, 18, was found inside a mobile home at N7253 Forest Road, Lot 36 in the town of Calamus. Deputy Medical Examiner Lee Smith said the cause of death was carbon monoxide poisoning. In addition, forensic pathologist Dr. Douglas Kelley said in the complaint there was evidence of hemorrhaging around the decedent’s right eye, forehead and cheek.
The Dodge County Sheriff’s Department responded to an underage drinking party at the address on Friday at 11:37 p.m. The criminal complaint states that a relative of Hernandez had been at that party and he went there to pick the person up. His car was parked in front of the mobile home with the flashers on, but was locked.
Hernandez told police he was upset and wanted to get his keys so he pounded on the trailer so he could get inside. According to the complaint, witnesses saw Hernandez break in through the garage.
According to the complaint, once inside, Hernandez said he tried to wake Aguilar-Bustamante and a fight ensued that resulted in him striking Aguilar-Bustamante in the face.
Hernandez then left with his keys, but told investigators he went back to the mobile home because he thought he left his cell phone inside. The complaint states that Hernandez told police he found a box of matches in the bedroom where Aguilar Bustamante was and lit three of them for light to search for his phone. According to the complaint, he told investigators that when the matches burned down he threw them on the floor.
He also said he had used a phone he found inside the trailer for light and that he took numerous keys when he left.
When police searched Hernandez’s 2010 Dodge Avenger, they found a cell phone belonging to Aguilar-Bustamante.