Man pleads guilty in arson killing

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Jacksonville Sheriff's Office booking photo of Jimmie Jackson Jr.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A 52-year-old Jacksonville man recently pleaded guilty to charges of second-degree murder, first-degree arson and burglary to a dwelling with damage in excess of $1,000, which resulted in the death of a 61-year-old man.

In September, Jimmie Jackson Jr. entered Cecil Hepler's home at around 4 a.m. and set the home on fire. Hepler, who was asleep at the time, was taken to the hospital for treatment by rescue personnel, but later died from smoke inhalation.

The investigation revealed that Jackson knew the owner of the home where Hepler (pictured) lived. A few days prior to the killing, Jackson had an argument with the owner of that home. Jackson set the home on fire because he was mad at the owner, prosecutors said.

Jackson faces up to life in prison. He also has two prior arson convictions from Fort Worth, Texas, and Pinellas County.

Jackson will be sentenced the week of March 3.

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