Suspect arrested for arson

Published 4:01 pm Wednesday, September 11, 2019


On Sept. 4, Southampton County deputies were called to the scene of a structure fire in the 21000 block of Greengate Drive, Franklin, for a suspected arson, according to Lt. Camden Cobb, a spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office.

Neil Martin Councill

A deputy trained in arson investigation responded to the scene to investigate and collect evidence.

The cause of the fire was determined to have not been accidental or natural. One adult male was inside the residence when the fire began, but was able to get out safely and call for help. The evidence from the scene and victim/witness statements allowed deputies to obtain warrants against Neil Martin Councill, 56, of Franklin, for felony burning or destroying a dwelling and attempted first-degree murder.

Councill was arrested without incident on Sept. 5, and is being held at the Southampton County Jail without bond.