What would you do…if you think your neighbor’s grass is too tall and scraggly—and you have alcoholic biochemistry? (TAR Lite # 28)
1. Politely ask your neighbor to cut the grass?
2. Bring out your lawn mower and offer to lend it to your neighbor?
3. Get your lawn mower and start mowing the lawn yourself?
4. Set fire to the lawn?
Congratulations if you selected # 4, because that’s what Phillip Roger Bennett, 58, did. His neighbor, Marty Corbitt, was watching cartoons with his 3-year-old daughter when Bennett burst into the home after setting the lawn on fire. Gas can in one hand, lighter in the other, he poured gasoline all over the kitchen and, while pouring, lit the fuel. As flames erupted, Corbitt grabbed his daughter and escaped the conflagration, which destroyed the home that belonged to his grandmother.
After a bit of a manhunt, Bennett turned himself in. He’s got an extensive criminal history, having served time for aggravated assault and voluntary manslaughter. Bennett and Corbitt lived across the street from each other for four years, with no apparent problems until the week before the arson occurred. I suspect Bennett relapsed into what was no doubt long-standing alcoholism.
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