Ex-teacher slits his throat in O.C. court after being convicted of raping girl

A Huntington Beach man slit his throat in a courtroom Wednesday morning after a jury found him guilty of raping a girl when she was 13.

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.

As the verdict was announced about 11 a.m. in Orange County Superior Court in Santa Ana, Jones produced a small razor blade and sliced his throat, according to Jones' attorney, Edward Welbourn, and Deputy Dist. Atty. Heather Brown.

Jones was screaming and bleeding heavily from his neck while a sheriff’s deputy tried to restrain him and the jury was rushed from the room, Brown said.

Welbourn said he saw his client’s head hit the defense table as he bled profusely.

Jones had to be handcuffed as medical personnel tried to stop the bleeding, Orange County Sheriff’s Lt. Mark Stichter said.

As Jones was taken out of the courtroom on a gurney, a pool of blood was left on the table, Brown said.

Jones was being treated at a hospital for injuries that are not life-threatening, Stichter said.

It wasn’t clear how he got the razor blade, the attorneys said.

Superior Court spokeswoman Gwen Vieau, who confirmed in a news release that Jones had a razor blade, said court management would review its weapons screening process to determine how the blade got into the building.

Stichter said the Sheriff’s Department would investigate whether Jones had brought it into the courthouse or found it in the building.

Jones had been released from custody after posting $1 million bail on July 25, 2013, according to the Orange County district attorney’s office.

Jones was a teacher for 27 years at Bell High School in Bell, according to prosecutors.

Brown said during Jones’ trial that his abuse of the girl — who is now 17 and was not one of his students — began when she was in the eighth grade.

At first, Brown said, Jones made sexual comments to the girl before progressing to inappropriate touching in the fall of 2012 and rape in the spring of 2013. He was employed at the time of the assaults.

Judge Steven Bromberg scheduled Jones’ sentencing for Nov. 4. He faces a maximum of 68 years to life in state prison, according to the district attorney's office.

Brazil writes for Times Community News.

benjamin.brazil@latimes.com

Twitter: @benbrazilpilot

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UPDATES:

6 p.m.: This article was updated to indicate the victim was not one of Jones’ students and that he was employed at the time of the assaults.

4:20 p.m.: This article was updated with Superior Court confirmation that Jones had a razor blade.

3 p.m.: This article was updated with details of Jones' condition and his bail status prior to Wednesday’s sentencing. 

This article was originally published at 1:45 p.m.

An earlier version of this article reported that Jones worked at Gahr High School in Cerritos. He was not employed at the school.
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