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Christmas arsonist gets 10 days in the county jail

MEDFORD — A man who attempted to set fire to his home after a domestic dispute Christmas morning was sentenced Thursday in Jackson County Circuit Court to 10 days in jail and 18 months supervised probation.

Jackie Edward Stallsworth, 41, pleaded guilty to a single count of second-degree arson and two counts of recklessly endangering another person in a plea agreement reached with the District Attorney's Office. He was sentenced by Judge Lisa Greif to 10 days in jail for each charge. His time is to run concurrently, and he was given credit for time served.

Before the plea agreement, Stallsworth faced felony charges of first-degree arson and first-degree criminal mischief, in addition to recklessly endangering and resisting arrest.

Stallsworth has remained lodged in the Jackson County Jail on more than $1 million bail since his holiday arrest. Therefore the jail portion of his sentence has been satisfied, said Senior Deputy District Attorney Terry Smith-Norton.

Stallsworth's attorney, David Orf, said in court Thursday that a domestic argument which began on Christmas Eve resulted in an "emotionally distraught" Stallsworth burning a 2-by-2-foot square section of carpet in the living room of his home in the 900 block of Broad Street in Medford.

"He ignited envelopes and paper and allegedly made threats to others in the residence," said Orf.

Police were called shortly after 9 a.m. Christmas morning because Stallsworth was reportedly fighting with his girlfriend, Leanna Copple, when he set fire to some loose paper, he said.

Medford police said Stallsworth, who appeared intoxicated, tried to burn his house down with his girlfriend, her mother and two children inside. Copple managed to stomp on the flames until the fire was extinguished, while the children hid in a bedroom, police said.

When police arrived, Stallsworth was sitting in a chair nursing a beer. He did not go quietly, attempting to punch and kick three officers when they tried to detain him, Deputy Chief Tim George said the day of the fire.

Greif also ordered Stallsworth to avoid all intoxicants.

Stallsworth has multiple convictions over the years for burglary, theft, disorderly conduct and supplying contraband, court records show.

Reach reporter Sanne Specht at 776-4497 or e-mail sspecht@mailtribune.com.