By LeAnn Dilbeck
Charles Benton Arnold, age 24, was arrested and spent July 4 in the Polk County Detention Center for failure to make court-ordered restitution payments following his guilty plea to four felonies stemming from a string of fires in the Shady Grove Community in the summer of 2011.
Arnold pled guilty to four counts of Solicitation to Commit Criminal Mischief, 1st Degree [A.C.A. 5-64-419], Class C Felonies, in Polk County Circuit Court April 22, 2013. Judge J.W. Looney ordered Arnold to 144 months of supervised probation, 80 hours annually of community service, and to pay the sum of $202,000 in restitution to the five victims in the case. Arnold is ordered to pay $300 / month.
Approximately 70 days following the ruling, Arnold had failed to make one payment and therefore, a warrant was issued for his arrest. He was arrested without incident.
Arnold was considered the “mastermind” of the string of fires that were ultimately ignited by Seth Wolf, who pled guilty in exchange for his testimony against Arnold. Wolf has faithfully made his $75 / week payments since making his plea agreement in October 2012. Looney released Arnold from the local jail after he paid $600 toward the restitution.