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Man who set Portage Co. sheriff's deputy on fire faces 16 years in prison after plea deal

Posted: 11:21 AM, Jan 07, 2020
Updated: 2020-01-07 11:21:37-05
Jay Brannon

PORTAGE COUNTY, Ohio — A man who threw a container of flammable liquid on a Portage County sheriff’s deputy then set him on fire in February 2019 took a plea deal with prosecutors and pleaded guilty on Tuesday.

Jay Edward Brannon pleaded guilty and agreed to a 16-year sentence for attempted aggravated murder, felonious assault and aggravated arson.

Prosecutors have recommended 16 years in prison. He’ll also serve 12 months for his prior forgery case, however, that will run concurrent with the total 16 years.

On Feb. 14, 2019, Deputy Jim Acklin attempted to serve felony warrants to Brannon, who was inside a building in the 3900 block of State Route 44 in Rootstown Township.

As deputies approached Brannon, he threatened officers and said he was going to kill them. Authorities say Brannon then threw a container with a flammable liquid in it on the deputy, and at the same time, ignited the liquid, officials said. Authorities say Brannon also told police that he wanted them to kill him.

Acklin suffered second and third-degree burns on his hands, arms and legs, according to Sheriff David Doak.

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Sgt. James Acklin, along with several others from the Portage Co. Sheriff’s Department, are in the courtroom for the trial.

Brannon is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 13 at 1 p.m.

RELATED: Portage Co. sheriff's deputy set on fire while serving warrant in Rootstown