Suspect arrested for attempted arson, murder
Benton police arrested early Saturday morning a man on charges of attempted arson and attempted murder.
After a disturbance was reported about 10:30 p.m. on Lillian Street, one of the men involved in the argument, James Garland, 54, agreed to leave the scene in order to "calm things down," according to a police report of the incident.
However, about 2 a.m., a neighbor told police Garland returned to the home. The neighbor said he witnessed Garland dousing the exterior of the house with a large amount of gasoline in an apparent attempt to set it on fire.
According to a police report of the incident, the neighbor took the gas can from Garland, who fled on foot from the scene.
According to police, four people were in the home at the time.
Later that morning, Garland was found and arrested. According to the police report, he smelled of gasoline and was in possession of cigarette lighters.
Garland is charged with criminal attempt to commit arson and four counts of criminal attempt to commit second-degree murder. He is also being charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, first-degree terroristic threatening and public intoxication.
According to police, this is ongoing investigation and additional charges could be possible.
Authorities are encouraging anyone with information about this crime to contact the Benton Police Department at 501-778-1171 or 501-315-TIPS. Individuals also may send an anonymous crime tip about this incident to CRIMES (274637) with the keyword BNPD in the body of the text or go to www.crimereports.com to leave a tip.
Any suspects listed are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.