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Cartersville Arson Suspect Could Not Be Fingerprinted Due to Burns, Police Say

The man accused of torching his neighbors' home was treated overnight for burns to his hands and arms in Grady Hospital's Burn Unit, released from the hospital and jailed.

Updated 5 p.m.

Bennett was released from the hospital and taken to the Bartow County jail by 4 p.m., according to sheriff's office Sgt. Jonathan Rogers, who said Bennett's mug shot would be forthcoming.

Police were unable to fingerprint Bennett due to his "severe" burns, according to a supplemental CPD incident report released today and attached.

Original Report

The man accused of torching a family's home in a quiet Cartersville neighborhood was burned in the process, Cartersville Police Department Capt. Mark Camp said.

Phillip Rodger Bennett, 58, of Boatner Avenue, who was , waived extradition and was transported back to  the Cartersville Police Department, where he was examined by emergency medical technicians during book-in procedures.

Bennett had sustained serious burns to his hands and arms. 

"The burns were too severe to be treated locally so Bennett was transported to Grady Hospital for treatment," Camp said in a morning update. "He has been admitted to the burn unit for treatment."

CPD officers have been with Bennett, who is set to released from the hospital this afternoon and taken to the Bartow County jail, Camp said in an afternoon update.

Authorities believe Bennett had drove to North Carolina to seek medical treatment without alerting authorities, and were able to talk him into surrendering, reports 11 Alive.

Bennett, who was meticulous about his lawn, actually had been at odds with his neighbor, Marion "Marty" Corbitt, 26, over his unkempt lawn far more than a week, according to a neighbor, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“They’d been squabbling over it a couple of years,” said Rick Sullins, according to the newspaper. “Phillip even volunteered to cut Marty’s grass for him."

Bennett complained about Corbitt's tall grass, but apparently also was worried a May 7 dispute between the two would send him back to jail. It would be his third stint, following two terms in state prison.

He had faced a murder charge as a result of a 1985 incident in Cobb County, but it was lowered to voluntary manslaughter, reports The Daily Tribune News.

Bennett was in prison from 1986 to 2000, about 14 years, on that conviction, and went back from 2005 to 2010 following an aggravated assault conviction stemming from a 1993 incident, Georgia Department of Corrections records show. It involved a knife and happened in Bartow County, according to the Tribune.

While in prison, Bennett was convicted of aggravated assault after attacking another inmate with a shovel, ripping off the man's nose, reports 11 Alive.

Corbitt had helped Bennett move into his Boatner Avenue home, across the street from Corbitt's, when Bennett was released from prison in 2010. Bennett even helped settle disputes in the neighborhood, according to other neighbors.

Accused of torching Corbitt's home while he and his 3-year-old daughter were inside, Bennett now faces a number of charges, including arson, aggravated assault and cruelty to children.

In his afternoon update, Camp explained why Bennett is not facing attempted murder charges.

"Some have asked why he was not charged with intent to murder," Camp said. "The intent to murder is actually included in aggravated assault and he has two counts of that."

Meanwhile, Corbitt's family is staying with relatives, according to 11 Alive.

"The mean man burned my house," toddler Kylie Corbitt said, according to the station.

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