Tip leads to arrest of man wanted for aggravated assault on first responders

Published 8:30 pm Monday, August 22, 2022

A tip received by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office lead to the arrest of the man sought for setting fire to his home and assaulting first responders.
James W. Tolley, 39, of Jonesborough, is being held in the Washington County Detention Center on a $200,000 bond. He is charged with three counts of prohibited weapons, aggravated arson, three counts of aggravated assault on first responders and setting fire to personal property or land. All charges stem from an incident that occurred in early August.
According to Sheriff Keith Sexton, deputies responded on Aug. 8 to an address on Barnes Road in Jonesborough in reference to a subject threatening to harm himself. Upon arrival, deputies discovered that Tolley had assembled three different fire-accelerant devices and placed them around the home. The devices were placed directly in the path of responding officers.
Tolley also set fire to the inside of the residence, leading deputies to force entry in order to extract him from the home. As a result of the incident, Tolley was seriously injured and transported to a local hospital. Deputies obtained a warrant charging Tolley, but he left the hospital before he could be arrested.
The sheriff’s department had asked for the public’s help in locating Tolley, who was arrested on Monday.

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