BROOKHAVEN, Ga. (AP) — A man was denied bail Friday on assault charges after police said he stabbed a pregnant woman on a suburban Atlanta trail, leading doctors to deliver her son through an emergency cesarean section after 25 weeks of gestation.
Christopher Jones was arrested Thursday in Atlanta, five days after 34-year-old Valerie Kasper was stabbed while walking with her 3-year-old son.
DeKalb County Magistrate Judge Abbi. S Taylor ruled that the 30-year-old Jones was a risk to the community.
He had been out on bail for two previous offenses.
Jones faces charges including aggravated assault, aggravated battery, and first-degree cruelty to children. WXIA-TV reports prosecutors called him “clearly a danger to society” while the public defender argued he had not been previously convicted of a violent felony.
Brookhaven Police said Thursday that Jones, who is currently homeless, admitted to stabbing Kasper. Police said they believe “mental illness played a role in this case.”
A prosecutor said Jones had been arrested in Georgia 12 times for crimes including simple assault, battery, theft and robbery. Prosecutors said he had also been arrested in Alabama and as a juvenile in Tennessee.
Kasper told WAGA-TV that she's relieved Jones will stay behind bars. She said her infant is doing well and that she is also recovering.
“My life was almost taken. Both my babies’ lives were almost taken,” Kasper said.
The 34-year-old is recovering from multiple surgeries in addition to the emergency C-section, saying she was stabbed four times.
“I was like feet away from my car and he ran up behind me," Kasper said. “They had to repair my colon and my liver. But they didn’t have to remove anything and it wasn’t severe. Somehow, you can get stabbed four times and misses everything. It was a miracle.”
Kasper said she is worried about her young son who witnessed someone assaulting his mother. “I feel like he will remember it so I think about that all the time. I’m very nervous about it," she said.
Kasper is expected to be discharged from the hospital on Saturday. Her newborn boy will remain in a neonatal intensive care unit for a few more months.
Officers said Jones approached the woman, who was walking with her son, and tried striking up a conversation with her. When she started to leave, police said, the man stabbed the woman in the back.
Police said Jones was identified by a tipster who recognized him from a security camera photo publicized by police.
Brookhaven Police Sgt. David Snively told WSB-TV that investigators are unsure why Jones stabbed Kasper.