Crime Tracker

3 arrested for murder of Lawrence County man after Jan. fire

LAWRENCE COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) - A homicide case opened months after a Lawrence County man's death.  

Murder, robbery, and arson are just a few of the charges brought against three suspects.  

On January 21, the home of Connis Butch was engulfed in flames. Remains of the 50-year-old father of seven were found inside.  

Early on, investigators know the fire is suspicious after K9s detect signs of an accelerant. After witnesses come forward, the case is ruled a murder.  

Investigators said the 50-year-old was beaten to death and the fire was set to destroy the evidence.  

Wednesday morning, a specially convened Lawrence County grand jury returned three indictments for first-degree murder and aggravated burglary against Charles Timothy Rowden, Jimmy Dale Hogan, and Paul McNeal.  

"We have a very strong case. It was just another one of these drug deals gone bad. He was a player. They no longer needed him. We think they beat him up and set the house on fire. All of it leads back to the same thing, drugs and money and money, and drugs and if you get on the bad side of it, even if you are friends, if you become a liability, they are going to take you out," said Lawrence County Sheriff Jimmy Brown.  

The three men are each being held on a $1.5 Million bond at the Lawrence County Detention Center.  

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