Weatherford Democrat

July 5, 2013

Alleged kidnapper returned to face charges

Man accused of abducting, assaulting woman in February


Weatherford Democrat

— By CHRISTIN COYNE

A man accused of kidnapping a woman at knifepoint and violently assaulting her in February was returned to Parker County Wednesday to face charges after he was arrested in Tarrant County.

Shortly before 8 p.m. Feb. 27, a 25-year-old injured woman was dropped off at the Springtown Police Department by a couple who brought the woman to the police station after she flagged down their vehicle, according to Springtown police.

The woman reportedly told police that her ex-boyfriend, 40-year-old James Dean McConnell, threatened her and her family’s life, assaulted her and held her against her will after she picked him up from an Azle store when he requested a ride.

She reportedly drove him to a location in Lake Worth but he became angry and demanded she drive to the house where he was staying in Azle.

There, McConnell intruded on her in the bathroom and took her cell phone, according to the probable cause affidavit filed with Justice of the Peace Wayne Hayes. When she attempted to leave without him, he reportedly took her car keys from her and left in her vehicle.

After returning, he reportedly told her she could leave but did not leave the keys in the car for her as he claimed.

A resident later told authorities she heard McConnell not allow the woman to leave and threaten to kill and cut the victim.

One of the residents at the home called police.

However, as they heard the sound of approaching Azle police sirens, McConnell reportedly forced the woman into her vehicle and made her drive to his parents’ house in Springtown, the affidavit states.

The woman said McConnell struck her, causing her to hit her head on the door window, grabbed her around her throat, and held a pocket knife and screwdriver close to her face, according to police.

McConnell reportedly wouldn’t let the woman out of the vehicle when they arrived at his sister’s home near his parents’ house. She said he became irate when she started honking the horn and bit her on the arm, police reported.

During the physical struggle, the car’s gear shift was reportedly broken and he forced her into the back seat of the car before telling her to go to his mother’s house.

She said she told his parents what was going on but, after McConnell entered the home yelling at her, they told them to do that elsewhere, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Springtown Police Lt. Curtis Stone wrote that McConnell’s father told police that the woman said McConnell was going to hurt her. However, McConnell’s mother said McConnell told them the woman hit him and broke the gearshift.

As McConnell attempted to fix the gearshift on the vehicle, he continued yelling at her, the 25-year-old reported, adding that after he held a knife to her again and threatened to cut her in the groin, she ran into the street and flagged down a passing vehicle.

The woman had minor injuries, including bruising, scratches and bite marks, when she showed up to the police station, according to Springtown Police Chief Ed Crowdis.

When officers went to the location in Springtown, McConnell had left the house with the vehicle used by the woman, though the vehicle was later recovered, Crowdis said.

McConnell has been in the Tarrant County Jail on other charges since his arrest April 28 in Haltom City, according to Crowdis.

McConnell, who was transported to the Parker County Jail Wednesday morning, faces charges of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and theft in the case. Bond had not been set as of Wednesday evening, according to jail records.

McConnell has an extensive criminal history, including convictions for assault causing bodily injury and assault of a family member, Crowdis said.