The first indication that something was amiss came when Jeffrey Scott Jones slumped suddenly in the Southern California courtroom.
His head struck the table in front of him, and shocked attorneys saw blood streaming from his neck.
Jones, 56, had been on trial in Orange County Superior Court on Wednesday, accused of sexually assaulting and raping a girl when she was 13, according to court documents.
A jury had just found the Huntington Beach man guilty when he pulled a standard razor blade out of his pocket and slit his throat, officials later said.
“Right after the judge asked if we wanted jurors polled, both attorneys said no, and then he took a razor out of his left pocket and slashed his throat,” senior deputy district attorney Heather Brown told CBS Los Angeles. “His head hit the table and I thought he fainted — but then I saw the blood and the razor on the table.”
Less than three weeks after being confronted by school officials over a sexual abuse allegation, a DCPS teacher took his own life.
John Domenick Bontempo, a 45-year-old third grade teacher at Neval Thomas Elementary School in Northeast, was in the process of taking on a formal mentoring role with a D.C. youth when the situation turned tragic. The mother of the minor accused him of child sexual abuse, setting off police and school investigations that were underway when Bontempo committed suicide in late August, according to police reports and interviews with a number of investigating agencies.
Karen Douglas, program manager with the National Center for Children and Families, notified the Metropolitan Police Department on Aug. 26 that she had received an emailed suicide threat that morning from Bontempo, who taught writing, social studies, and science.
“Apparently there had been some allegation regarding a young person [Bontempo] had contact with,” says Douglas, who until then had been unaware of the situation. “He didn’t mention specifics, but he was devastated that anyone would think he would have such a relationship given how close he was to the youth and the family. He said goodbye, and that he knew the action he was going to take was going to impact people who cared about him.”
A colonel assigned to Schriever Air Force Base and under investigation of committing several sex offenses was found dead early Sunday at his Colorado Springs home.
Air Force Col. Eugene Marcus Caughey, 46, was due to face a court-martial on Oct. 17 for multiple charges, including sexual offenses, adultery and conduct unbecoming an officer and gentleman.
The military announced his death on Monday.
Caughey was assigned as an Air Force Space Command special staff member and had been in the Air Force since 1993, according to an Air Force news release.
Caughey was a former 50th Space Wing vice commander at Schriever, just east of Colorado Springs, before he was removed from his position on June 17, 2015, when the investigation into his alleged misconduct began.