The Clay County Sheriff's Office is investigating the circumstances involving the death of a 41-year-old Jacksonville man after deputies said he and two other men stole two chainsaws from a truck Saturday.
Deputies said Jason Kent took two chainsaws from the rear of a truck parked at a convenience store on U.S. Highway 17 north of Green Cove Springs.
Nathan Ross (pictured on left), 32, of Jacksonville, and Jarrod Romani (pictured here on right), 29, of Okeechobee, were arrested on charges of burglary to an automobile. Both remain in custody.
The owners of the chainsaws witnessed the theft and followed the suspects north on U.S. 17, deputies said.
They said a fight took place and two of the people involved in the burglary were injured during the altercation. They were checked by Clay County Fire Rescue on scene.
Kent, 41, of Jacksonville, was taken by a deputy to the Orange Park Medical Center for treatment of visible injuries prior to booking, but for precautionary reasons the hospital chose to admit him and deputies were going to seek an arrest warrant after he was released from hospital care, according to the Sheriff's Office.
Kent was later taken from the hospital to UF Health Jacksonville because of his injuries, and the Sheriff's Office was later notified that he had died.
Kent (pictured left in a previous Jacksonville Sheriff's Office booking photo) had an extensive criminal history, including arrests for grand theft, burglary, dealing in stolen property, and possession of a controlled substance.
Channel 4's Hailey Winslow spoke with one of Kent's Monday night. Dawn Carter said that Kent was a good man, who was simply involved with the wrong crowd.
"You spend all your time with somebody for so long and they get taken away from you like this it's not fair. It's not fair, there's a lot of people hurting right now," said Carter. "He's not the kind of guy who goes out and causes problems I can't think of a time in his life where he's ever been in a physical altercation."
Carter said that Kent was a talented musician who always looked out for everyone's best interest, she said she wants her friend to be remembered that way and not as a criminal.
"Nobody is buying what that paper says, nobody. We know him better and we want to make sure everybody knows that he's not that kind of person and we don't want him to be remembered for somebody he wasn't. We want him to be remembered for the friend, the brother, the person he was to all of us and it's just not fair," said Carter.