Centralia Man Pleads Guilty But Mentally Ill to Aggravated Arson Charge
John Brown Allegedly Poured Gasoline on His Girlfriend Before Setting House on Dix-Irvington Road on Fire
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John Brown

A 50-year-old Centralia man has pleaded guilty but mentally ill in Jefferson County Court to an aggravated arson charge in connection with a September 2016 fire he admitted setting to a home on the Dix-Irvington Road southeast of Centralia.

John Brown will still face a six to 30-year prison range when sentenced at an undetermined date next year. However, the Department of Corrections will have the option of providing Brown with mental health treatment while he is in custody. Under State Law, Brown will have to serve 85-percent of the sentence on the Class X conviction.

As part of the plea, other charges pending against Brown in connection with the fire and a police chase this August were dropped.

Brown was accused of pouring gasoline over his girlfriend's head and around the home before lighting the fire that caused heavy damage. All the occupants got out safely before the Centralia Fire Protection District firemen arrived on the scene. Brown was located at a Centralia home the following day following an extensive manhunt.

Brown was out on bond on the fire-related charges when he led Jefferson County Sheriff's Deputies on the lengthy chase across southern Jefferson County in August. Deputies say they had to eventually shoot out a back tire to get Brown to stop.

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