Authorities say a man who allegedly set a neighbor's yard on fire in Cartersville on Wednesday has turned himself in to authorities in North Carolina. Cartersville police say 58-year-old Phillip Roger Bennett is a suspect in an arson that occurred on Boatner Avenue in Cartersville.
Police said that Bennett had been involved in an apparent feud with Marty Corbitt, who lives across the street from Bennett. Corbitt said that he's lived at the home about four years and had gotten along with Bennett until last week. Corbitt said that Bennett starting complaining about the length of his grass.
"My grass is too tall for him. I was going to cut it today when he set it on fire," Corbitt said.
Corbitt said that he was watching cartoons with his 3-year-old daughter, Kylie, when Bennett came over with two gas cans and a lighter.
"And then he grabs the gas can, starts pouring it into the kitchen. As he's pouring, he takes his lighter and lights it. Flames were everywhere," Corbitt said.
As flames erupted around him, Corbitt grabbed his daughter and got out of the burning home that belonged to his grandmother. Corbitt said he lost everything in the fire. His daughter was most worried about losing her tricycle, but within hours, some neighbors went out and bought her a new one.
Police called Bennett armed and dangerous, and said he has an extensive criminal history, including serving time for aggravated assault and voluntary manslaughter. The 58-year-old turned himself in to U.S. Marshals on Thursday morning in Murphy, North Carolina.
The Marshals were able to make contact with Bennett by phone, and they talked him into surrendering, according to Cartersville police.
Bennett was taken to the county jail in Murphy, N.C., and will be transported back to Cartersville as soon as possible.
Bennett faces charges of arson and aggravated assault. The police chief says he may also seek an attempted murder indictment against Bennett.
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