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Decatur woman says she inflicted life-threatening stab wound in self-defense

Decatur woman says she inflicted life-threatening stab wound in self-defense



DECATUR — A Decatur woman, whose former boyfriend told police he left her because of her “violent tendencies,” is accused of inflicting a life-threatening stab wound on her current boyfriend.

Jessica E. Bartimus, 33, was arrested at her home, where police said the incident took place, at 4:44 a.m. Sunday. Police said the victim said he didn’t want to press charges but officers booked Bartimus on a preliminary charge of aggravated domestic battery, according to a sworn affidavit. All preliminary charges are subject to review by the state attorney’s office.

The affidavit quotes her as telling police she stabbed the 31-year-old victim because he was attacking her and she was forced to defend herself. Police said the 3-inch gash had lacerated the man’s liver and may have punctured his stomach wall.

Writing in the affidavit, Police Officer Nicholas Errett said the trouble began while Bartimus and the victim, her boyfriend of several months, were at a friend’s house on Dwight Drive playing cards.

One witness is quoted as telling police Bartimus became angry with her boyfriend and suddenly smacked him in the forehead with a wooden spoon. The host of the card game then “kicked her out of their house” and the witness described Bartimus as being the “primary aggressor” during the dispute with her boyfriend.

The man later returned to the home the couple shared and where other witnesses described their argument continuing. A second witness, the former boyfriend who said he left Bartimus because of her violent nature, is quoted as saying he heard her scream and saw the victim strike her before they began trading blows.

Bartimus is quoted as telling police she had been head-butted and had armed herself with a folding knife for self-defense. “‘If you head butt me again I am going to make your stop,’” the affidavit quotes her as saying that was the warning she had given her current boyfriend.

Bartimus then said the knife got knocked out of her hand during the altercation and the stabbing occurred after she stooped to pick it up. “...As she came up with it she advised she opened it and cut (the victim),” Errett said in the affidavit. “She said she could not advise as to if she made a stabbing motion with the knife or a slicing motion.”

Police said they found the victim, who had staggered out of his home to get help, lying on the ground after witnesses had called 911 and had put pressure on the wound in his torso to try and stop the bleeding. “His injuries were considered to be life-threatening,” Errett added.

A check of Macon County Jail records shows Bartimus remained in custody Monday with bail set at $75,000, which means she must post $7,500 to bond out. Prosecutors had asked for bail set at $100,000. If she makes bail, she is ordered to stay away from the victim, his home and his workplace.

PHOTOS: 2020 mug shots from the Herald & Review

Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid


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