Layton fire

A Layton home was heavily damaged in a fire Sunday, April 4, 2021.

LAYTON — A  Layton man allegedly tried to burn down his neighbor's house early Easter morning, heavily damaging the structure, police said in charging documents.

Police arrested Jerry Sexton, 43, on Sunday after the Layton fire marshal determined the blaze next door to Sexton's home, in the 1100 West block of 2600 North, was intentionally ignited, according to a Layton probable cause statement.

The neighbor reported Sexton shouted "You're going to die" while yelling at the house Saturday, and on an earlier day he had threatened to burn down the house, the arrest affidavit said.

Police took Sexton to the Davis County Jail in Farmington on suspicion of first-degree felony aggravated arson.

After police read him his rights, Sexton denied being involved with the fire or knowing anything about it, according to the arrest affidavit. 

In a search of Sexton's home, police reported they found any empty pack of Marlboro cigarettes in his bathroom and Marlboro butts in the backyard about 10-15 feet from the burn area next door.

The fire started in a tree on the side of the neighbor's home, the affidavit said.

Second District Court records show Sexton pleaded guilty in 2018 on charges of criminal mischief and resisting arrest after he damaged the same neighbor's home. Damage to the home included torn-off siding and dents from thrown bricks, court records said.

On Sunday, police said they interviewed Sexton's mother, who said her son was "in a manic state" early Sunday morning. She said she left home to contact a crisis counselor about Sexton and said she would not return home until he talked to the counselor. 

In a social media post, the Layton Fire Department said the fire was reported at 4:52 a.m. Flames extended from the exterior into the attic, but firefighters stopped it before it got into the home, the report said. No one was injured.

Court records said Sexton was released from jail Sunday after a public safety risk assessment indicted he could be freed with conditions. A judge later signed an order requiring Sexton to check in with pretrial services regularly pending court appearances and to have no contact with the neighbors.

Efforts to reach the Layton fire marshal were not immediately successful.

You can reach reporter Mark Shenefelt at or 801 625-4224. Follow him on Twitter at @mshenefelt.

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