Man set on fire angry that man who did it was given plea deal
More than 4 years after, man who light fire pleads to lesser charge
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Anthony Baggs is angry that the man who set him on fire in 2015 and was initially charged with attempted murder was allowed by the State Attorney’s Office to plead guilty to a lesser charge.
Late last month, Jason Wilson, 44, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of aggravated battery and accepted a seven-year prison sentence. The three years, four months Wilson has spent in jail since his arrest count toward the completion of that sentence.
Baggs said Wilson, pictured left, took everything from him on Sept. 20, 2015. Baggs was playing the video game "Call of Duty" when he said Wilson, an acquaintance, knocked on his Sandalwood door, came inside and lit him on fire.
“When I looked up, all I see is fire coming towards my face,” said Baggs.
Baggs said the room caught fire, too, and much of the house was destroyed. The family dog died from smoke inhalation.
Baggs remembers getting into an ambulance, and the next thing he remembers is waking up in the burn unit a Shands Hospital in Gainesville. He had been in a coma for four months.
Baggs suffered third-degree burns on most of his body and couldn’t move his arms or legs. He underwent a series of skin grafts. He still has internal injuries and his body is scarred for life.
“It just took everything away. It literally made me relive all the phases of my life over again,” said Baggs.
Baggs asked prosecutors with the State Attorney’s Office not to give Wilson a plea deal.
"[The prosecutor] was like, ‘It’s too many different stories. Things aren’t adding up, so it’s pretty much just going to end up your word against his word,'" Baggs said. "I got set on fire. He took my looks, my everything away from me. Everything I care most about, well, except my kids."
A State Attorney's Office spokesperson sent News4Jax the following statement about the plea agreement:
"After fully apprising the victim of the challenges of the case and the victim agreeing to the disposition, the defendant was convicted and sentenced to seven years in prison."
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