Eastman man arrested in murder, arson

Authorities in Dodge County arrested an Eastman man Wednesday in the killing of a man found dead in a house fire late last month.

James Franklin English of Cottondale Avenue is accused of malice murder and first degree arson in the death of 49-year-old Ricky Edward Payne, whose body was discovered inside the burning living room of a neighbor’s house on Leitch Street on April 25, said Greg Harvey, special agent in charge of the Eastman office of the GBI.

A tip to the Georgia Arson Hotline helped lead to the arrest in the death of Payne, who died of blunt force trauma according to the autopsy, Harvey said.