BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — A man accused of murdering a man, assaulting a woman and trying to burn down a Battle Creek home is officially charged with murder.
Otha Lee Carroll, 47, of Battle Creek was arraigned Thursday on charges of felony murder, assault with intent to murder, first-degree arson, and two counts of assaulting, resisting or obstructing a police officer in connection to the Tuesday evening crimes.
The judge denied him bond.
A man who lives on N. Washington Avenue near Parkway Drive told 24 Hour News 8 he was taking out his trash when he saw his neighbor’s house on fire and a man beating a screaming woman.
A detective said a medical crew passing by saw the smoke rising from the home and rescued the woman, but couldn’t reach the 64-year-old man inside the burning house.
The detective said it was all part of an apparent robbery. He said the two victims somehow knew the suspect.
The woman told investigators she was assaulted and the house was set on fire. She pointed them toward a suspect and they started looking for him.
When police arrived at Caroll’s apartment in unmarked cars, he drove away, crashing into cars on his way out of the parking lot. Although police lost track of him, Carroll later drove to the police station Tuesday night to ask about the case, and was taken into custody.
Additionally, Mary Alice Beamon, who investigators say helped Carroll get away from police, is charged with accessory to a felony after the fact. A judge set Beamon’s bond at $5,000.
The next court hearings for Carroll and Beamon are scheduled for Oct. 11.