Modestan faces 25 years to life for attacking girlfriend in motel

09/03/2014 4:15 PM

09/04/2014 12:21 PM

A Modesto man faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison for punching his girlfriend and holding her captive in a motel room after she tried to leave to feed her children.

A jury last week found Alvin Bernard Jones guilty of battery on a cohabitant, making criminal threats, false imprisonment, vehicle theft and possessing methamphetamine, the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.

The defendant has three violent felony convictions, which make him eligible for a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison under the state’s “three strikes” law.

Stanislaus Superior Court Judge Dawna Reeves scheduled the defendant to return to court Sept. 12 for his sentencing hearing. Jones, 46, remains in custody at the jail as he awaits sentencing.

The incident involving Jones and his girlfriend occurred April 14 at the Vagabond Inn motel on McHenry Avenue in central Modesto. Modesto police Officer Austin Wilson arrived at the motel about 9 p.m. for community-oriented policing.

The officer then spotted a woman with a bloody nose and no shirt. The woman was running toward the officer.

The woman told police she had been held in her motel room against her will for several hours by her boyfriend, Jones, according to Deputy District Attorney Beth O’Hara De Jong, who prosecuted the case.

The girlfriend had asked for her car keys because she wanted to go to the Modesto Gospel Mission, where her kids could get something to eat. The shelter serves food to needy and homeless people. Her children were not with her inside the motel room.

Jones was angered that his girlfriend wanted to leave, and he became violent. He punched his girlfriend’s nose, threatened to kill her and tackled her when she tried to leave, according to De Jong.

The woman escaped from the motel room when Jones answered a knock at the door, and she ran to the motel manager’s office.

Jones left the area in his girlfriend’s car. On April 22, California Highway Patrol Officer Phillip De Prater spotted Jones driving his girlfriend’s stolen car. The CHP officer found that Jones had meth in his pocket.

The prosecutor said Jones attacked another woman in 1998 in Stockton, breaking the woman’s jaw and cutting her face from her ear to her cheekbone. The injured woman received more than 50 stitches and remained hospitalized for a month.

For the attack in Stockton, Jones was convicted of attempted murder, aggravated mayhem and assault with a deadly weapon causing great bodily injury, according to prosecutors. Jones was sentenced to 13 years in prison for those crimes and later was released on parole.

In 2012, Jones was charged and acquitted of domestic violence and sexual offenses involving another woman, De Jong said.

In the trial that concluded with a conviction last week, the jurors heard testimony from both women involved the 1998 and 2012 incidents. De Jong said their testimony was intended to demonstrate his propensity to commit such violent acts.

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