Four arrested in connection with deadly Lakeland arson - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Four arrested in connection with deadly Lakeland arson

By Robin Jedlicka - bio | email

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - Twelve-year-old LaQuinta Bowens was killed in February when a Molotov cocktail was thrown into the home where she was sleeping.

Two adults and two juveniles are behind bars, and the community is relieved to have some answers.

On February 4th, the quiet town of Lakeland was shaken by a heinous crime. Someone used a Molotov Cocktail to set fire to a Davis Avenue home, claiming the life of twelve-year-old LaQuinta Bowens.

Now thanks to an investigation led by the GBI and ATF, with the assistance of the Lakeland Police and Lanier County Sheriff, four people are in jail.

20-year-old Antonio 'Tom' McCutchin and a 16-year-old male are charged with malice murder, felony murder, four counts of aggravated assault, aggravated battery, arson, and criminal damage to property.

"We had two more people arrested for this incident, Patricia McCutchin, and her daughter who is 16-years-old. They've been charged with obstruction to an officer and hindering prosecution," say Police Chief Robbie Grantham.

Investigators say the two women lied while being interviewed by GBI agents.

Investigators also say the fire was a reaction to a trivial argument between the families.

"They were fighting over a comment that was made to one of their girlfriends," said Grantham.

Patrol Officer Ted Bell was one of the officers who tried to rescue Bowens from the flames.

"There's been a lot of sorrow with the death of this young child. I feel that. The Community will be more at ease now that we've we have made several arrests this morning," Bell said.

While the investigation is still ongoing, GBI agents say it feels good to know their long hours have paid off, bringing justice to a town in mourning.

Tom McCutchin was arrested hiding in his mother's home in Lakeland. The teenager was taken into custody at school in Valdosta.

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