Worth Co. man charged with murder and arson in fire - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: Man charged with murder; Autopsy conducted

Worth County Sheriff Freddie Tompkins Worth County Sheriff Freddie Tompkins
WORTH CO., GA (WALB) -

The GBI says an autopsy is complete on the burned remains of 50-year-old Gregory Fulghum, who died in an arson fire last Friday. The results are 'pending' they say.

The survivor of a fatal fire in Worth County Friday told investigators the fire was burning around her husband who died in the fire.

31-year-old Michael Carlisle is charged with murder and first degree arson in the death of the disabled victim as investigators try to determine if Carlisle set out to murder two people. 

Carlisle remains in the Worth County Jail, and investigators say he is not saying anything to them.  But it appears he talked to his co-workers about Friday's fire.

Investigators said the fire in the mobile home on Fortune Street in Worth County was first spotted around 6 a.m. Friday with 50-year-old Gregory Fulghum dead inside on a sofa in the living room where he slept. 

Neighbors tell us that Fulgham was paralyzed and unable to move. His wife, 64 year old Betty Booth, was seriously burned after she awoke to a home full of smoke and flames.

"The lady who lived there said that when she got up and walked in there when she smelled smoke, said the fellow who was deceased, the fire was just right around his bed. He slept on the couch," said Freddie Tompkins, Worth Co. Sheriff's Office

Carlisle rented a room in the mobile home. Sheriff's investigators got suspicious when Carlisle would not come back to the home.

"The third guy who was staying there, Carlisle, he had already gone to work.  We sent word for him to come back there. And after an hour or so he didn't show back up, we started getting suspicious," said Tompkins.

Carlisle, working at a construction job in Lee County, started talking about the fire to his co-workers, and those co-workers were so concerned by what he said they called Lee County Sheriff's officials. 

Lee County Sheriff's officials delivered Carlisle into custody of the Worth County Sheriff for questioning. The GBI was called in, and started a forensic investigation of the home. 

Early Saturday morning Carlisle was charged with murder and arson. Now Investigators are trying to determine a motive.

"The onliest reason I could find out talking to neighbors is he might have gotten mad at the guy who died the night before. Arguing with him about some money," said Tompkins.

Carlisle remains held in the Worth County jail without bond.

Booth is listed in serious condition tonight at the Doctor's Hospital in Augusta after suffering heavy smoke inhalation and burns. Neighbors tell us she was hurt rescuing her pets from the fire.

Carlisle was arrested in Sylvester in 1995 for theft by taking. 

In 2003 he was arrested for aggravated assault but those charges were later dismissed.

Copyright 2012 WALB. All rights reserved.

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