Police name man accused of setting fire to home with wife inside

Concord police have identified 45-year-old Richard Barnette as the man who allegedly attempted to burn down his house Saturday afternoon with his wife trapped inside it.

Barnette was arrested later that day and booked into county jail on suspicion of arson and attempted murder, Concord police Lt. Andrew Gartner said today.

He has not yet been charged. Detectives plan to present their case to the Contra Costa County District Attorney's office Wednesday, Gartner said.

Concord Lt. Tim Runyon said Saturday that police and fire crews received reports of a house fire in the 3600 block of Thunderbird Court just after 1:30 p.m.

Barnette's wife was in the home at the time of the fire, but managed to escape. She was taken to a nearby hospital as a precaution, but was not injured in the blaze, Gartner said.

The couple's 9-year-old son was outside the house when the fire was started, Gartner said. The boy is the couple's only child.

Runyon said Barnette and his wife are going through divorce proceedings, but were both still living in the house.

At some point Saturday Barnette allegedly made a comment about how his wife was “not going to get the house,” Runyon said.

Barnette then allegedly doused the home with a combustible fluid and lit it on fire.

“Preliminary investigations show that he tried to trap (his wife) in the house,” Runyon said. As a result, police will be seeking charges of attempted murder against Barnette.

Barnette remains in custody today at the Martinez Detention Facility. His bail has been set at $750,000, according to county jail officials.

Bay City News

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Kindergarten teacher Chris Johnson in his classroom at Bryant Elementary School ahead of the school’s reopening on Friday, April 9, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFUSD students are going back to the classroom

After more than a year of distance learning, city schools begin reopening on Monday

Keith Zwölfer, director of education for SFFILM, stays busy connecting filmmakers and studios with public, private and home schools<ins>.</ins><ins> (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner) </ins>
Streamlined SF film festival focuses on family features

In the early days of the San Francisco International Film Festival, the… Continue reading

“Gay Passover,” a fun Haggadah, includes some cocktail recipes. <ins>(Courtesy Saul Sugarman)</ins>
A Passover journey toward something different

It was nice to see my family, and I look forward to reconnecting with friends

Oakland A’s left fielder Tony Kemp fielded a fly but missed the catch in the April 5 game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at the Oakland Coliseum. <ins>(Chris Victorio/Special to S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Bay Area sports for week of April 11, 2021

A look at the upcoming major Bay Area sports events (schedules subject… Continue reading

The involving historical novel “The Bohemians” imagines photographer Dorothea Lange’s life in San Francisco. (Courtesy photo)
‘Bohemians’ explores life of legendary photographer Dorothea Lange

Artist’s talent, compassion revealed in Jasmin Darznik’s historical novel

Most Read