A homeless man torched while sleeping outside a church. He has died from his injuries.
Felix Najera suffered burns to 40 percent of his body after being set on fire while sleeping in front of Bethany Christian Church in the East Harlem neighborhood in upper Manhattan, police said. He died Oct. 9.
Israel Torres, 29, of the Bronx, was charged with attempted murder and assault in the Oct. 5 attack, police said. He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Oct. 8 and was held without bail.
Charges against Torres have not been upgraded since Najera's death, police said.
Police had called the torching of the 49-year-old one of the most severe and senseless attacks on a homeless victim in recent memory.
Residents said the victim was a heavy drinker who would beg for cigarettes from passers-by, but otherwise was a harmless fixture on the block. Najera was burned while sleeping in a cardboard box around midnight.