TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KGPE)- Shocking video and audio recordings were released in a south valley court on Thursday as two juveniles stood trial for a 2020 fatal fire.
“We (expletive) killed two firefighters,” said one juvenile to the other during a conversation that was recorded in the back of a Porterville cop car.
The two teenagers face murder, conspiracy, and arson charges for the Porterville Public Library Fire on February 18, 2020. The fire killed fire Cpt. Raymon Figueroa and firefighter Patrick Jones.
The prosecution played body camera footage from the fire that showed an officer rush into the building and trying to use an extinguisher. Quickly, the flames grew, and black smoke swallowed up books. The officer couldn’t stay inside any longer. He went outside where he met firefighter Jones. Jones died fighting the inferno.
“It was incredibly emotional,” said Patrick’s father John. “Very revealing.”
Patrick’s sister Katie Bryant teared up when she saw the video. On her wrist are bracelets. One with “stronger”, the other with “sister” in her brother’s handwriting.
“To see him for the last time, there are no words that can explain,” said Bryant.
The prosecution then played recordings of officers showing up at the teenager’s homes. We were not allowed to film the recordings because of the juvenile’s age. In the video, the boys denied being at the library but later admitted to being inside and lighting a piece of paper on fire.
The boys were 13 years old at the time of the fire. Now, they are 15 years old and awaiting their fate.
The prosecution also played an audio recording from the back of the cop car as the two boys were being transported to the Public Safety Building. We again were not allowed to record it, but an officer witness detailed a portion of the recording.
“He said something to the effect of, ‘we burnt down the whole library”,” said the officer.
Later in the conversation, you hear one of the boys say “I’ve never been to jail”, and “We killed two firefighters”.
Cpt. Raymond Figueroa also died in the inferno. Day 3 of the trial will pick up on Friday at 1 pm.