January trial date set for man accused of setting Portage County deputy on fire

January trial date set for man accused of setting Portage County deputy on fire
Jay Brannon (left), Sgt. Jim Acklin (right)

RAVENNA, OH (WOIO) - The suspect accused of setting a Portage County deputy on fire will stand trial in January.

Jay Brannon was indicted on five counts of attempted murder, five counts of aggravated arson and one count of felonious assault stemming from a brutal attack on the deputy.

Jay Brannon hearing 7/26/2019

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According to Portage County Sheriff’s Office, Brannon threw an ignited container of a flammable liquid on Sergeant Jim Acklin when deputies attempted to serve him with felony warrants.

The incident occurred at Brannon’s home on State Route 44 in Rootstown on Feb. 14.

The liquid set Acklin’s clothes on fire. Other deputies and officers helped Acklin put out the flames.

He was transported via EMA to Akron Children’s Burn Unit, where he spent four days recovering.

Two other officers were treated and released at University Hospitals for smoke inhalation.

Brannon was taken into custody at the scene and is being held on a $2 million bond.

Sheriff David Doak said this attack stands out because it’s not something officers typically prepare for.

In fact, in his 50 years of service, Doak said he hasn’t seen an attack like this, but he also said he’s seen a trend of officer attacks worsening in the last decade.

Brannon’s trial date is scheduled for Jan. 7.

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