DECATUR – As Thomas L. Jones allegedly strangled and battered a woman, she was afraid that she would lose consciousness.
As she struggled to breathe, he called her a derogatory name and threatened to snap her neck.
“I have nothing to lose, I'm already on parole,” Jones, a 42-year-old Decatur man allegedly told the 45-year-old woman, according to police.
Jones, who is being held on $40,000 bond in the Macon County Jail, was arraigned Thursday on four felony counts, including aggravated domestic battery, unlawful restraint and two counts of domestic battery conviction with a prior domestic battery conviction.
Police were sent to the victim's residence on the city's southern edge about 1:45 a.m. Feb. 3 on a domestic violence report. The woman told police she and Jones were involved in an argument, which led to the attack.
“When she returned to the bedroom from the kitchen, Thomas threw her on the bed and put his arm around her neck, placing her in a headlock,” said an affidavit by Decatur patrol officer Nichole Morgan.
While he held her by her neck Jones “punched her on the left side of her face three or four times with a closed fist,” she told police.
When Jones released her, she went outside and called 911.
The reddened appearance of the woman's neck was consistent with the account she gave to police, Morgan wrote in her statement.
During a police interview, Jones said he and the woman were arguing, when she entered the bedroom with a small kitchen knife. He said she cut him several times with the knife.
The woman said she was not aware of any knife in the bedroom.
“She believed Thomas cut himself after she went outside,” the affidavit said.
Morgan noted that there were “several superficial scratches” on Jones's chest.
The woman was not arrested.
Jones was released from prison Sept. 19, after serving 15 months of a 30-month sentence for a conviction on a felony stalking charge. The victim in that case was a 40 year-old Decatur woman, who Jones threatened to kill in June 2015 after their three-month relationship ended.
Text messages Jones sent to that victim “were obscene, lewd, filthy or indecent,” said a police affidavit. The woman told police she “felt alarmed and disturbed and felt the threats were real.”
Jones has six convictions in criminal cases since 1998, for crimes, including domestic battery/bodily harm, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, burglary and theft. He has served four terms in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Jones is due in court for his preliminary hearing March 1.