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story.lead_photo.caption Jason Anthony Fridline

BENTONVILLE — A Rogers man was sentenced to 30 years in prison for attacking a man he suspected of molesting a young girl, the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.

Jason Fridline, 37, pleaded guilty Monday to aggravated residential burglary, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm by certain persons. He was charged as a habitual offender since he has previously been convicted of robbery and commercial burglary.

Fridline said Monday that he entered a home Feb. 19, 2017, while wearing a mask and armed with a gun. He told the judge he believed a man living at the residence had sexually assaulted a girl he knows.

"That wasn't the case," Fridline said.

The 37-year-old didn't explain in court why he believed the man had molested the girl. His attorney, Jay Saxton, told the judge that drug use contributed to Fridline's actions.

Benton County sheriff's office deputies went to a home on Lodge Lane in Garfield the night of Feb. 19 in response to a call reporting an armed intruder had entered a house, according to a probable cause affidavit.

The victim told deputies he was sleeping on the couch when he was awakened by a masked man pointing a gun at his head, according to the affidavit. The man told authorities he got off the couch and began struggling with intruder over the gun. During the struggle, the gun fired a bullet into the floor, according to court documents.

The man was able to gain possession of the gun and pointed it at the intruder and pulled the trigger, but the gun didn't fire, the affidavit states.

The man and his neighbor were able to subdue the intruder and used zip ties and a belt to secure his hands and feet until deputies arrived, according to court documents.

The victim told deputies he thought the masked intruder was going to kill him and didn't recognize it was Fridline until the mask was removed. The man said he and Fridline had been neighbors a long time ago, the affidavit states.

Circuit Judge Robin Green sentenced him to 30 years in the Arkansas Department of Correction. He will have to serve seven-and-a-half years before he'll be eligible for parole. He will have to abide by a suspended sentence agreement for 20 years after his release from prison.


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