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Detective: Shooting started with real estate argument

By Daniel Silliman

dsilliman@news-daily.com

With part of a bullet still lodged in his spine, 36-year-old Frederick Jarvis will probably be paralyzed from the waist down for the rest of his life.

Jonesboro Police say the man was shot in the back by his cousin on Thursday, after an argument about money and a real estate deal. Jarvis apparently felt he wasn't given a large enough payment percentage by Jason Butler, a 37-year-old managing broker at Perfect Properties, a 124 South Main St., realty company.

The two men reportedly yelled at each other, and then Jarvis punched Butler and walked out on him, Detective Tim Jessup said.

Butler, who is registered to carry a firearm, but normally doesn't have it in his office, allegedly followed Jarvis outside and shot him in the back. Police and paramedics arrived before noon, March 20, and Jarvis was lying on the sidewalk in downtown Jonesboro.

On Monday, Atlanta Medical Center doctors confirmed what local police and paramedics thought: The bullet damaged the man's spine.

"The paramedics did the bottom of the foot thing," Jessup said. "They rub something on the bottom of the foot, and normally your toes will curl up, but there was nothing ... The doctors confirmed that part of the bullet is lodged in the spinal cord."

Butler was arrested and initially charged with aggravated assault, reckless conduct, discharging a weapon near a highway and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. Depending on the discoveries during the investigation, he could be facing more charges, the detective said.

"I believe he knew there was going to be a conflict, and went and got the gun. It was normally in the car, under the seat or in the glove box, but he went and got it that day ... It's a sad, sad situation," Jessup said.

Butler's first court hearing has not been scheduled.