A California teacher slashed his throat with a razor blade in front of a stunned courtroom after he was convicted of raping a teenage girl.
Jeffrey Scott Jones, 56, of Huntington Beach, slit his throat in the Orange County courtroom on Wednesday (19 October). The former teacher of 27 years had taught English at the Libra Academy in Huntington Park and was convicted using DNA evidence
Jones had just been convicted of two felony counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and one felony count of continuous sexual abuse with a teenage relative of his live-in girlfriend in 2012 and 2013. His victim, who was between 13 and 14 when the molestation and rape began, is now 17.
Jones now faces a maximum sentence of 66 years imprisonment when the court reconvenes on 4 November.
During the trial it was stated that Jones made sexual comments to the girl, making her uncomfortable, before progressing to inappropriate touching before he raped her on 4 and 9 May 2013.
Despite the self-inflicted injury, Jones survived after being rushed to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Prosecutor Heather Brown said: "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," she told City News Service, according to ABC News.
Jones' defence lawyer had argued that the DNA evidence was not conclusive and the girl had told lies in an attempt to cover up her cannabis use. But a Santa Ana jury deliberated for two hours before deciding that Jones was guilty.
"I didn't see it even though I was sitting next to him' and only became concerned when Jones hit the table, defence attorney Ed Welbourn said according to the newspaper.
"It's very unfortunate, the whole thing. We respect the jury's decision, but we thought there was reasonable doubt as to what occurred ... It's just terrible."