Former High School Teacher Slits Throat In Court Moments After Being Convicted Of Raping Girl
Former high school English teacher Jeffrey Scott Jones slashed his own throat with a razor in a Santa Ana courtroom Wednesday, moments after he was convicted of raping a 13-year-old girl.
The L.A. Times reports that Jones, 56, had been found guilty of raping his live-in girlfriend's daughter when she was 13. In a verdict that was announced at about 11 a.m. this morning, the Huntington Beach resident was convicted of two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and one count of continuous sexual abuse and faces up to 66 years to life in prison.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Heather Brown told City News Service that he took a razor out of his left pocket and slashed his throat right after the judge asked if the lawyers wanted the jury polled.
"His head hit the table and I thought he fainted, but then I saw the blood and the razor on the table," Brown told City News Service.
Defense attorney Ed Welbourn told LAist that although he didn't see it happen because he was sitting next to Jones at the time, others in the courtroom told him that they saw his client "pull a blade out of somewhere in his clothing and basically cut himself or tried to hurt himself. He either then passed out or fainted and hit the table and from there the staff jumped in. The bailiff jumped in and administered first aid to him very quickly, and they did a great job," Welbourn said.
According to OC Weekly, Jones was a high school teacher for three decades and worked at Bell High School, Gahr High School in Cerritos and Libra Academy in Huntington Park. He was an AP English teacher at Libra Academy when the charges against him were filed in 2013. Prosecutors alleged that he had sex with his 13-year-old victim in May 2013 and molested her at various times from September 2012 through April 2013, according to City News Service.
The Weekly reports that Jones had been married to three different women, each of whom "he apparently began relationships with when each was an underage teen student of his."
Jones was rushed to a hospital after slicing his throat, according to CBS LA. Orange County Sheriff’s Lt. Mark Stichter told City News Service that there will be an investigation into how Jones was able to have a razor blade in the courtroom. Welbourn told LAist that he had no information about how client was able to bring the blade into the courtroom.
"I think he's going to be okay," Welbourn said.