Jay Brannon sentenced to 16 years in prison for setting a Portage County deputy on fire

“You are a coward,” said Judge Becky Doherty

Sentencing for man convicted of attempted murder for setting a Portage County deputy on fire

RAVENNA, OH (WOIO) - The man who set a Portage County deputy on fire last February was sentenced Monday to 16 years in prison.

Jay Brannon was sentenced to 16 years in prison for setting a Portage County deputy on fire.
Jay Brannon was sentenced to 16 years in prison for setting a Portage County deputy on fire. (Source: WOIO)

Jay Brannon pleaded guilty last week to several charges; including, attempted aggravated murder, felonious assault and aggravated arson.

Jay Brannon hearing 7/26/2019

WATCH LIVE: Man accused of lighting Portage County deputy on fire in court now for a competency hearing: https://bit.ly/2K4LHap

Posted by Cleveland 19 News on Friday, July 26, 2019

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, 2019.

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.

Acklin was in court Monday for the sentencing.

Brannon told the court he was on drugs at the time and didn’t mean to do it.

“I am deeply truly sorry for the pain that you’ve endured due to my attempted suicide that went sideways,” he said.

Judge Becky Doherty didn’t let him off.

“You’re a coward and I want you to look around this room and see bravery," she said.

Sergeant Jim Acklin was in court Monday for the sentencing of Jay Brannon.
Sergeant Jim Acklin was in court Monday for the sentencing of Jay Brannon. (Source: WOIO)

Acklin showed the media some of his scars.

Sergeant Jim Acklin was injured when Jay Brannon threw flammable liquid on him in February 2019.
Sergeant Jim Acklin was injured when Jay Brannon threw flammable liquid on him in February 2019. (Source: WOIO)

Portage County Sheriff David Doak and many other deputies were also in court Monday, showing their support for Acklin.

Multiple deputies were in court for the sentencing of Jay Brannon.
Multiple deputies were in court for the sentencing of Jay Brannon. (Source: WOIO)

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.

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