Charges dismissed against Virginia Beach man previously accused of burning his own home

Virginia Beach
Virginia Beach Fire Department Generic

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A Virginia Beach man previously accused of burning down his own home back in 2019 had his charges dismissed.

Then-74-year-old Richard Butler was accused of setting his Virginia Beach home on fire. Art Kohn with the Virginia Beach Fire Department said Butler’s wife was at the home in the 1400 block of Falkirk Court, but she was able to escape unharmed.

Butler was treated at the hospital for smoke inhalation before being taken to the Virginia Beach City Jail. He was charged with arson of an occupied dwelling and threatening to burn.

Firefighters say the fire was knocked down quickly and the living room on the first floor was heavily damaged. There was moderate smoke damage in the rest of the house.

On Monday, the charges were nolle prosequi. Court documents also stated that Butler pleaded guilty to violating a protective order and sentenced to one day in jail.

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