Man pleads no contest in deadly '92 arson

March 01, 1997


Staff Writer, Martinsburg

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A former Winchester, Va. man has pleaded no contest to second-degree murder in a 1992 arson in Martinsburg that killed another man, according to Berkeley County Circuit Court records.

Roberto Lopez, 24, faces between five and 18 years in prison for the charge, according to court records.

Elizar Romero, also known as Eleazer Peralta, died a day after the Dec. 30 blaze, according to court records.

The fire occurred in a four-unit apartment building at 126 South Raleigh Street. At least eight people who lived in the building were injured in the blaze, officials said.

A witness told officials that she saw a Mexican male run out of the apartment with his clothes on fire and jump into a car, according to court records. One of the occupants at the apartment building said three Mexican males had come to his apartment and were drinking beer.


The men then went to an apartment in the back of the building, where the occupant said he could near people fighting, according to court records. The man said he then saw smoke and fire, said court records.

Lopez is currently being held in the Eastern Regional Jail near Martinsburg.

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