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 at about 11 a.m. at Orange County Superior Court in Santa Ana, Jones picked up a small razor blade and sliced his throat, according to Jones’ attorney, Edward Welbourn, and Deputy District Attorney 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 blood began to pool.
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.
It wasn’t clear how Jones 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 will review its weapons screening process to determine how the blade got into the building.
Stichter said the Sheriff’s Department will investigate whether Jones brought it into the courthouse or found it in the building.
Jones had not been in custody since he posted $1 million bail on July 25, 2013, according to the Orange County district attorney’s office.
Jones was a teacher for 27 years, including at Bell High School in Bell, according to prosecutors.
FOR THE RECORD
An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Jones also worked at Gahr High School in Cerritos. He worked at Bell High School.
Brown argued in court that Jones’ abuse of the girl — who is now 17 and was not one of his students — began when she was in eighth grade.
At first, Brown said, Jones made sexual comments to the girl, making her uncomfortable, before progressing to inappropriate touching between Sept. 1, 2012, and April 30, 2013.
Jones raped the girl on May 4 and 9, 2013, Brown contended. He was employed at the time of the assaults.
Judge Steven Bromberg scheduled Jones’ sentencing for Nov. 4. Jones faces a maximum of 68 years to life in state prison, according to the district attorney’s office.