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Lonoke man arrested on arson charge

A Lonoke man was arrested over the weekend for arson.

On Friday around 6:09 p.m., the Lonoke County Sheriff’s office received a report of a residential fire on Arkansas Highway 89 near the Furlow area. Deputy Brandon McKiever and the South Bend Fire Department responded.

According to a report from the sheriff’s office, further investigation revealed that the fire may have been intentionally set and was due to a domestic dispute. Investigator Carla Lucas responded.

Based on initial investigation, the sheriff’s office initiated a search to locate resident, Johnny Austin Benton, 55.

On Saturday, around 3:58 a.m., the sheriff’s office received a report of a second residential fire on Wildwood Drive near Cabot.

The Mountain Springs Fire Department and investigator Steve Morgan responded. Information received indicated that Benton may have been connected to the second fire.

Later in the day on Saturday, Lt. James Kulesa made telephone contact with Benton, who agreed to come to the sheriff’s office to speak with investigators.

According to the report, Benton called Kulesa and said he could not drive to the sheriff’s office because of a flat tire. At that time, Kulesa and Lucas met Benton on Arkansas Highway 321 and transported him to the sheriff’s office. He was arrested for arson and held without bond.

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