On Oct. 20, a man convicted of rape slashed his throat with a razor blade in a courtroom right after the guilty verdict was read.
Jeffrey Scott Jones, 56, an English teacher at the Libra Academy in Huntington Park, California, was found guilty of raping a teenage relative of his live-in girlfriend in 2012 and 2013, reports the Daily Mail.
Prosecutor Heather Brown described the scene to City News Service: “Right after the judge asked if we wanted jurors polled, both attorneys said no, and then he took a razor out of his left pocket and slashed his throat. ... His head hit the table, and I thought he fainted. But then I saw the blood and the razor on the table.”
Defense attorney Ed Welbourn added, “I didn’t see it even though I was sitting next to him.”
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Jones was rushed from the Orange County courtroom to a hospital, where his injuries were deemed to be non-life threatening.
Jones faces a potential sentence of 66 years to life in prison after a Santa Ana jury convicted him of continuous sexual abuse and aggravated sexual assault of a child.
“It's very unfortunate, the whole thing,” said Welbourn, who had argued that the DNA evidence in the case was not conclusive and the girl Jones was accused of raping had lied to cover up her marijuana use. “We respect the jury's decision, but we thought there was reasonable doubt as to what occurred,” he said. "The good news is it looks like he will recover.”
How Jones managed to get the razor blade into the courtroom is a mystery that the county sheriff’s office says it will be investigating.
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As a method of suicide, throat cutting is relatively uncommon. The website Lost All Hope ranks it as the 20th most lethal form of suicide, with a 51.5 chance of lethality.
Former Saturday Night Live cast member Charles Rocket chose that form of suicide on Oct. 7, 2005. As noted on the website Blog of Death: “His throat was slit, and a knife was found next to the body. The state medical examiner determined the cause of death to be self-inflicted.” His body was found in a field behind his Connecticut home.