Man found guilty of machete attack

October 15, 2006|By Tyrone Richardson | Tyrone Richardson,Sun reporter

A Columbia man was found guilty in Howard County Circuit Court of attempted murder in a case that prosecutors described as "something out of a horror movie" - the brutal attack on his estranged wife with a machete this year.

After more than four hours of deliberation Thursday, a jury found Frederick E. Jones, 54, guilty of first-degree attempted murder, assault, and violation of an April 20 ex parte order forbidding him to go near his wife, Natalyn Tart-Jones, or her residence.

Jones faces a maximum penalty of life in prison. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for Dec. 13. During last week's trial, prosecutors said Jones camped out in a wooded area near Tart-Jones' condominium in the 8700 block of Hayshed Lane about 8 a.m. May 1. Prosecutors said Jones confronted her as she walked toward her car as she left for work. During the confrontation, Jones pulled out a machete and struck her repeatedly, causing deep lacerations to her face, fracturing her skull and damaging her hands and severing some fingers, said prosecutor Susan A. Weinstein.

During closing arguments, prosecutor Claude de Vastey told jurors that Jones intended to kill his wife, and stopped only when a resident who lived in the condominium called out his name.

Louis P. Willemin, defense attorney for Jones, told jurors that his client's actions were a "terrible thing" but that he had not intended to kill Tart-Jones.

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