Burglary suspect detained by victims later dies at hospital

by: Catherine Varnum Updated:

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GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. - The Clay County Sheriff's Office is investigating after a chainsaw theft lead to the death of a Jacksonville man over the weekend.

The Sheriffs Office said two chainsaws were sitting in the back of a pickup truck while the truck's owner was inside a gas station on Saturday night on U.S. 17 in Green Cove Springs.

The truck owner and two witnesses came out and saw the chainsaws gone and followed the suspects, who were traveling in a silver Volkswagen, several miles down U.S. 17 until everyone pulled over.

The suspects, Nathan Ross, Jarrod Romani and Jason Kent, and the people in the pick up truck all got into a fight before police arrived, according to the Sheriff's Office. The truck's occupants claimed they were detaining the suspects.

Kent later died at the hospital and his family did not wish to comment. The Sheriff's Office would not tell Action News whether the truck owners from the original burglary will be charged.

Action News law and safety expert Dale Carson said investigators will have to look into the injuries Kent received and whether his death was from reasonable force or something more.

"If he used excessive force, he could be charged with manslaughter or murder," Carson said of the burglary victim. 

Both Ross and Romani remain in custody on Monday night, each charged with unarmed burglary to auto without person inside.