Tags: man | burns | house | over | lawn

Man Burns House Over Lawn That Neighbor Wouldn't Cut

Thursday, 16 May 2013 02:47 PM

By Michael Mullins

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How do you resolve a conflict with a neighbor who won't cut his lawn? For one North Carolina man the answer was to set the neighbor's house on fire.

Phillip Roger Bennett, 58, of Cartersville, Ga. allegedly poured two cans of gasoline into his neighbor's kitchen on Wednesday before lighting it and watching the house burn.

The blaze was started while the neighbor, Marty Corbitt, was inside the house with his 3-year-old daughter. Both managed to escape unharmed.

Bennett fled the scene, then turned himself in Thursday morning to U.S. Marshals in Murphy, N.C.

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According to Corbitt, he had lived across the street from Bennett for the past four years and had a relatively good relationship until about a week ago when Bennett began complaining about the height of his grass.

"[He] slapped me across the face and said, 'Mow your grass,'" Corbitt told NBC affiliate 11 Alive.

"My grass is too tall for him. I was going to cut it today when he set it on fire," Corbitt added in an interview with My Fox Atlanta. "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."

As the flames spread, Corbitt told Fox News, he grabbed his daughter and ran out of the house, which belonged to his grandmother.

According to Corbitt, the fire destroyed everything he owned.

Immediately after the fire, Corbitt's daughter expressed concern for her tricycle, which was destroyed in the blaze, prompting neighbors to chip in and by her a brand new bike within hours of the fire.

"I honestly can't imagine what goes through someone's head to make them want to murder someone and their child over grass," Corbitt said. "He was actually a pretty good neighbor up until last week. And then he just went complete psycho."

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Bennett, who police initially described as armed and dangerous before he surrendered himself to authorities, reportedly has an extensive criminal history.

Bennett initially made contact with the Marshalls prior to his surrender over the phone, according to Cartersville police.

The 58-year-old suspect is currently being housed in a county jail in Murphy, N.C., and will eventually be relocated to Cartersville.

Related stories:

Taiwan Cops: Nursing Home Resident Set Deadly Fire

Woman Set on Fire by Boyfriend in Middle of San Francisco Street

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