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Georgia man accused of murder, arson arrested after chase: Officials

It is still unknown what led up to the incident, or how the two men know each other.

EASTMAN, Ga. — An Eastman murder suspect is now in custody after a car chase Thursday. 

31-year-old Joel Jared Butler was taken into custody in Twiggs county, he's accused of murder and arson. The GBI says he killed 49-year-old William Harrell at his home on Old River Road Wednesday afternoon.

Butler then allegedly set the house on fire. 

He is currently charged with arson and malice murder. The GBI says they expect more charges.

Dodge Sheriff Brian Robinson said this is the second time this week Butler committed a violent crime. He says the suspect was accused of an aggravated assault against another man on Tuesday. 

"We got a call out in the Antioch area, where a gentlemen had been assaulted. Once the law enforcement arrived to the scene, he had been injured extremely bad. He had to be life flighted to the medical center in Macon," Robinson said.

Now, they are working with the GBI to find more answers in Wednesdays shooting. 

"I do know the community, they want to know, they want to be informed for their safety. When you have something like this going on it has to be quick but you have to be thorough," he said.

He says throughout the process they are working diligently to bring this to a conclusion, and trying to be sensitive to both families involved. 

"This is a delicate situation for both families. Both families are well known in the community. You don't want to jump the gun on anything especially at such a time as this," Robinson said.

Robinson says so far they don't know how the two men knew each other or what led up to the shooting. 

He says they're also trying to find out more about Butler's mental state. 

Robinson says he hopes the GBI completes their investigation by the end of the week.

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