“The home is next”: Man charged with arson for setting house and car on fire at former residence

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — MPD and MFD responded to an arson call in Westhaven, early Wednesday morning

Law enforcement received a call at 3:46 a.m. about the report taking place in the 300 block of McFarland Drive

A man wearing a gray hoodie and checkered leggings was seen breaking the window out of a vehicle, according to the caller.

MFD was currently putting out a fire in a black GMC Envoy with no tags when MPD arrived at the same address, according to an affidavit.

The automobile was vacant and parked in the driveway.

MPD acquired the vehicle registration number from the driver’s side door after the fire was extinguished.

According to a witness that called MFD, a man was filming the fire and said, “the home is next,” before walking away.

Law enforcement came back a second time to the location, to find a residence on fire, and a white Dodge Magnum remained parked and refusing to move, according to an affidavit.

6 units from MFD were on the scene, extinguishing the fire.

When police arrived, the automobile finally moved and fled the area, going westbound.

A witness provided police officers with the Dodge Magnum’s license plate number.

Police were able to find the suspect and put him into custody.

Officers discovered a 9mm Remington RP9 with one live bullet in the chamber and five shots in the magazine below the driver’s seat in the Dodge Magnum.

Marijuana was also discovered in a clear bag on the center console by officers.

Artavis Butler explained to police that the car on fire belonged to his cousin, and the house belonged to his uncle. He returned to the scene to make sure no one was harmed and recorded the burning vehicle on fire, according to an affidavit.

The homeowner said they were unaware of Butler’s existence.

One of the victims on the scene said to police that they knew Butler.

Butler was evicted from the home around four months ago due to his drug addiction.

Artavis Butler is charged with arson, possession of controlled substance with intent to manufacture or sell, convicted felon in possession of a handgun, possessing a firearm to commit a dangerous felony.

The court date is listed for Dec. 23.

Butler has also pleaded guilty to a charge of possession of a controlled drug on Jan. 28, 2015.