Man accused of trying to cut off fiancee's finger to be arraigned next month
Friday, February 19, 2010
At the preliminary hearing Thursday for Jason J. Robert, a Cape Girardeau man accused of trying to cut off his fiancee's finger, Associate Circuit Court Judge Gary A. Kamp found probable cause for the case to proceed.
Kamp dismissed a stealing charge against Robert, however, based mostly on the lack of evidence for the crime.
Robert, charged only with second- and third-degree domestic assault, will appear for arraignment at 9 a.m. March 1.
The victim, also Robert's girlfriend of about 10 years, was the only person to testify at the hearing. She said that Jan. 21, the date of the alleged assault, she returned to their home to find Robert angry about not being able to run a feature on their television. While she didn't know how to fix the problem, the victim said she offered to help Robert to calm him down.
"He had threatened to break all the electronics in the house," she said. After an argument, Robert bit his fiancee's lip but didn't break the skin, she said Thursday.
Minutes later, Robert attempted to retrieve the victim's engagement ring by cutting off her finger with pliers. Her 8-year-old daughter entered the room and stepped between them to make Robert stop, the victim said.
Robert's attorney, Gordon Glaus, questioned the victim on her uncertainty of the object Robert used in trying to cut her ring off. She initially told police Robert used a knife, but on the stand described the object as pliers or a wire cutter.
The victim said she was upset when she gave her statement to the police, but is sure Robert used a wire cutter he pulled from his pants pocket.
On Jan. 21, Robert also allegedly drove the victim's car without her consent and refused to return it after numerous requests from the victim. The victim said Thursday the vehicle was given to the both of them by Robert's mother's best friend.
"She gave it to us to get the kids and go places as a family," the victim said. "Jason said to put it in my name because he had a motorcycle. He even stated that that was my car."
Glaus' questioning further revealed that although the victim's name is on the title, she has a doctor's order not to drive and that Roberts had driven the car. While on the stand, the victim was also unable to say where she saw Roberts drive the car to Jan. 21.