Was it, as the prosecution contended, domestic violence when Jacobs barged into a camper and stabbed his ex-girlfriend four times with his knife before Beasley sliced his face with a box cutter?
Or, as the defense contended, did Beasley attack Jacobs with the box cutter, nearly slicing out one of his eyes, outside a camper off Scrub Oak Road in Elizabethtown before Jacobs grabbed his knife and stabbed Beasley in self defense?
Jacobs, 44, was on trial, charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury and assault inflicting serious injury. The trial began Monday in Bladen County Superior Court.
Late Wednesday afternoon, a jury of six men and six women found Jacobs guilty of assault inflicting serious injury. Judge W. Douglas Parsons sentenced Jacobs to a minimum of 45 months and a maximum of 66 months in state prison.
“Domestic violence is always a serious matter and must be treated as such,” assistant District Attorney Quintin McGee said in a statement. “I’m thankful that the jury listened to the facts in this case, found the truth, and held Mr. Jacobs accountable for his actions on the night in question.”
Jacobs’ lawyer, Andrew Wall, questioned the credibility of the testimony of Beasley and her sister, Betty Alford, during his closing arguments before the jury, and said that Jacobs never was given an opportunity to tell his side of the story to investigators. Investigators never took prints from the weapons and never tested the blood inside the camper or outside on the ground to determine whose blood it was, Wall said.
Wall noted that Jacobs previously had been assaulted by Beasley and “knew what she could do.”
“What would you do in that situation?” Wall asked the jurors. “Exactly what Charles Jacobs did and do what is necessary to protect your life. … Charles Jacobs’ story makes sense. He hid nothing from you.”
Beasley and Jacobs had an on-again, off-again relationship since 2014, according to testimony, and, at times, lived together. The couple had broken up two weeks prior to May 21, 2015, because, Beasley testified, that Jacobs had assaulted her.
On the day of the attack, Beasley was living in a camper owned by Linwood Johnson, and Jacobs was living in his camper next door off Scrub Oak Road, according to testimony. Johnson died earlier this year.
In the early evening on May 21, 2015, Beasley, Jacobs, Alford and Johnson got into a car together, stopped at an ABC store and a “drug house” in the White Oak area, according to testimony. Jacobs admitted he drank most of a fifth of liquor while Beasley testified she had about half of a bottle of King Cobra 40. Jacobs admitted smoking crack while Beasley said she “had a puff.”
When the group returned to the campers, Beasley went to Johnson’s camper and Jacobs went to his camper, according to Beasley’s testimony.
According to Beasley, she “had a bad feeling that night. I’ve never had a feeling like that in my life.”
Jacobs began calling her names from outside, Beasley testified. She called 911 “because I was scared for my life.”
Beasley said that Jacobs then came into the camper, pushed her down on the bed and got on top of her. “After I felt the sting (of being stabbed), I cut him (on the face),” she testified. “I already had the (box cutter) out because I was afraid for my life.
Beasley suffered an injury to her left lung, spleen and the back of her left shoulder from the stabbings, according to testimony.
Beasley said after the stabbing she waited on her bed for law enforcement to help because “I was bleeding to death.”
Meanwhile, Jacobs had gone outside as law enforcement arrived. Officers twice used a Taser to subdue him before taking him to the hospital. He later was charged in the case and spent five months in Bladen County Jail, according to testimony.
According to Jacobs’ testimony, he, along with Beasley and Alford, went to Jacobs’ camper and Johnson went to his camper after the four returned to the property that evening. After about 40 minutes, Jacobs told Beasley she needed to leave since Beasley had taken out a restraining order against Jacobs, Wall told jurors.
Beasley left, but got mad and started hollering at Jacobs and calling him names, Wall said. Jacobs goes outside and the next thing he realized is that blood is running down his face from where Beasley had slashed him, Wall said, so he bends over and is hit in the head by Alford, who then jumps on his back while Beasley is still slashing his face.
Jacobs is bleeding profusely as he hears the sirens of law enforcement approaching, Wall said. “He tries to get to them and is hunched over. Then, he’s tazed and goes to the hospital for treatment.
“This is what happened to this man and he’s the defendant.”
McGee, in his final arguments to the jury, said, “Charles Jacobs is not entitled to his self defense claim.
“I told you (at the start of the trial) that Charles Jacobs is innocent until proven guilty. That cloak of innocence has been removed. Geneva Beasley was at home and attacked. It’s domestic violence in the flesh.”
The jury agreed.