A Bartow County man accused of burning down a neighbour’s house on Wednesday morning has been captured. Phillip Roger Bennett, 58, was taken into custody on Thursday by US Marshals in Murphy, North Carolina, He has since been returned to Georgia, and booked into the Bartow County jail. Cartersville Police Capt. Mark Camp said the suspect faces nearly a dozen charges, including arson, aggravated assault, criminal property damage, cruelty to children, second-degree burglary, reckless conduct, criminal trespass and terroristic threats.
So far, this sounds like an ordinary guy, burning down the house. But apparently he had Higher Motivations:
Police are also talking with the Bartow County District Attorney about whether Bennett can be charged with attempted murder. They insist Bennett knew Corbitt and his three year old daughter were inside the home when he allegedly set it on fire, frustrated the family had failed to mow their lawn. “He kicks my door, tells me I’ve got five seconds to come outside. I turn around and call 911. And while I’m on the phone he comes back with two gas cans in his hand. He walks up to my kitchen door again, takes a gas can, smashes it against the glass, breaks the first pane,” Corbitt said.
And then after that, he gets belligerent.
Then again, it’s not like he’s never done anything like this before:
Court and prison records show Bennett has had a history of violence. He served time for voluntary manslaughter, after killing someone in Cobb County.
While in prison, Bennett was convicted of aggravated assault for attacking an inmate with a shovel, ripping off the man’s nose.
“Looks the same to me,” said the leopard as he performed a spot check.