SANTA ANA, California — An ex-school teacher convicted of raping a 13-year-old student slashed his throat with a razor in front of a horrified California courtroom after hearing the verdict.
Jeffrey Scott Jones, 56, had just been convicted of two felony counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and one felony count of continuous sexual abuse, when he pulled out a razor blade and cut his own throat.
“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,” Senior Deputy District Attorney Heather Brown told CBS Los Angeles. “His head hit the table and I thought he fainted, but then I saw the blood and the razor on the table.”
Officers tried to restrain the heavily-bleeding Jones and quickly rushed him and the jury out of the room in Orange County Superior Court. Court officials said he was likely to survive. No one else was hurt.
It was not clear how Jones, who had been free on bail, managed to smuggle the blade into the courthouse, but officials said they were reviewing security protocols.
Jones had been working as an advanced placement English teacher at the Libra Academy in Huntington Park at the time of the crime. Previously, he worked for 27 years at Bell High School in the City of Bell.
The victim, who is now 17, was not one of Jones’ students. Prosecutors say Jones repeatedly raped the girl over a period of eight months starting in late 2012. In May 2013, Jones threatened that he would ruin the girl’s life if she told anyone what had happened. The attacks were reported to police that month and Jones was arrested in June.
He faces a maximum sentence of 68 years to life in state prison when he is sentenced on Nov. 4,