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Clarion Man Sentenced Up to Eight Years for Stabbing Girlfriend
According to court documents, on Wednesday, August 1, President Judge James Arner sentenced 40-year-old James Ryan Edwards, of Clarion, to a minimum of four years and up to a maximum of eight years confinement, with credit for 234 days served.
Edwards was also ordered to complete mental health counseling.
He is required to submit to DNA testing and pay the costs.
Edwards is also ordered to pay the prosecution costs and fees, as well as restitution totaling $3,186.51.
According to court documents, Edwards pleaded guilty – but mentally ill – on one count of second-degree felony aggravated assault, one second-degree misdemeanor count of resisting arrest, and one third-degree misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct.
The following charges were dismissed as a result of the plea deal:
- Criminal Attempt – Criminal Homicide, Felony 1
- Aggravated Assault, Felony 1
- Aggravated Assault, Felony 2
- Simple Assault, Misdemeanor 2
Details of the case:
Clarion Borough Police Chief William V. Peck, IV, said the incident occurred around 8:39 p.m. on Saturday, December 9 at a 246 West Main Street apartment.
According to a criminal complaint, Clarion Borough Police Officer Christopher Fox and Clarion University Police were called to the residence after a 40-year-old Franklin woman called Clarion County 911 and reported that she had been stabbed in the neck by Edwards.
When police arrived, the victim – who was found outside holding her neck – told officers that Edwards went back into the apartment.
The criminal complaint stated that Officer Jeff Slagle assisted the victim while Officers Fox and Sam Ragley prepared to make entry into the residence.
Police discovered that the door was locked, and an officer kicked it in to gain entry.
“I shouted ‘Clarion Police’ in the residence and got no response,” said Officer Fox in the criminal complaint.
The officers began searching the residence and found Edwards kneeling in the bathroom with his arms in the sink.
“I yelled at Edwards to get on the ground, and he just kneeled there in a daze,” said Officer Fox in the criminal complaint.
Officer Fox then instructed Edwards to get on the ground again, and he complied.
At this point, Officer Fox noticed a knife on the bathroom floor, according to the criminal complaint.
Officer Fox instructed Edwards to “crawl out of the bathroom and get away from the weapon.”
Edwards replied, “(Expletive) you I wanna die, so just let me (expletive) die,” according to the criminal complaint.
“Officer Ragley had his gun drawn and covered me while I put medical exam gloves on, so I could give medical attention to Edwards,” said Officer Fox in the criminal complaint.
According to the criminal complaint, Edwards had multiple “slashes” on his wrist and a cut on his neck.
“I told Edwards to lay in the hallway and not to move, so I could start applying medical attention to his neck wound, since it was pouring out blood,” said Officer Fox in the criminal complaint.
Edwards replied, “(Expletive) you guys; I want to die, just leave me be,” according to the criminal complaint.
The criminal complaint states that Edwards continued, “I’m just going to have you guys kill me.”
“I told Edwards that I did not want to do that,” said Officer Fox in the criminal complaint.
The criminal complaint states that Edwards started to get up on his feet and allegedly charged at Officers Fox and Ragley.
Officer Fox deployed his taser and hit Edwards in the chest area with two probes causing him to fall to the ground in the hallway.
“I told Edwards to remain still and not to make any more sudden movements, or he will be tased again,” said Officer Fox in the criminal complaint.
Edwards then attempted to harm himself further and blood began to pour into the hallway.
Officer Fox used a package of “Quick Clot” to help stop the bleeding on Edward’s neck.
According to the criminal complaint, Edwards allegedly began resisting again as Officer Fox was attempting to apply pressure to his neck.
At this time, multiple Pennsylvania state police troopers began to enter the residence to assist with the incident.
Shippenville-Elk Township Ambulance arrived on scene and tended to Edwards. He was then flown to a Pittsburgh-area hospital for treatment of injuries to his neck and wrists.
After he was cleared by doctors in Pittsburgh, Clarion Borough Police transported Edwards back to Clarion County where he was arraigned and then placed in the county jail.
The female victim was also flown to a Pittsburgh-area trauma center for treatment of serious injuries.
Court documents indicate that she lost a substantial amount of blood after being stabbed in the neck.
According to the criminal complaint, on-call District Judge Timothy P. Schill issued a warrant allowing police to search the apartment where the incident took place.
A search was conducted, and investigators located a black-handled, lock-blade knife with suspected blood on it, according to the criminal complaint.
The knife was found in the bathroom where police first encountered Edwards, according to the criminal complaint.
The Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Records & Identification Unit was called to process the scene.
Chief Peck commended his officers and Clarion University Police for the way they handled the situation.
“I commend the officers for how they handled a very stressful situation,” said Chief Peck during a previous phone interview with exploreClarion.com.
“I also appreciate the assistance of the Clarion University Police and the Pennsylvania State Police and their forensics unit.”
No police officers were injured in the incident, according to Chief Peck.
Edwards’ injuries are believed to have been self-inflicted.
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