The trial of Jonathan M. Chirdon, of Duncansville, who is accused of assaulting a female with a knife and head-butting a state trooper, got underway before President Judge Fredric J. Ammerman yesterday.
According to Clearfield County District Attorney Ryan Sayers, on March 28, 2020, Chirdon assaulted a female with a knife and when he was arrested by the state police, he head-butted a trooper in the face causing injuries.
Chirdon is charged with aggravated assault, felony of the first degree; aggravated assault, felony of the second degree three counts of simple assault and recklessly endangering another person, all of which are misdemeanors of the second degree and harassment, a summary offense.
He is also charged with aggravated assault-causes bodily injury to designated individuals, a felony of the second degree; simple assault, a misdemeanor of the second degree and harassment, a summary offense.
The victim testified she and Chirdon have known each other for about 10 years and said they had a romantic relationship about 10 years ago that had ended a long time ago, but they remained friends.
On March 28, 2020, she said was communicating throughout the day with Chirdon via text messages and phone calls. She said she was at home alone in Ramey and her estranged husband was out with the children.
She said she was going through a divorce and asked Chirdon if he knew a good divorce lawyer. She also said she suffered from depression and would often talk to him when she was feeling depressed.
Eventually Chirdon said he was coming over but she told him several times that it wouldn’t be a good idea. But Chirdon told her he was drinking alcohol and was coming over.
When he arrived she said she got into his vehicle and they drove around for a while and drank alcohol and talked. She said they did this for about three hours. Eventually at about 10 p.m. she asked to be dropped off at home.
She said Chirdon drove her home but asked to come inside. She said she refused but he said he had to use the bathroom. She said it was raining outside so she let him use the bathroom but told him he couldn’t stay.
She said she believed Chirdon was intoxicated.
After he used the bathroom she said Chirdon refused to leave. She said she left her phone on the kitchen table but it was no longer there and asked him where it was but he said he didn’t know.
She told him he had to leave and she picked up her husband’s hunting knife for protection. She said she told him she was going to sleep and again told him to leave. She said she walked into her bedroom and put the knife down on her entertainment center in her bedroom, not realizing Chirdon had followed her. She said she turned around and Chirdon was carrying the knife. She said he pinned her up against the dresser held the knife against her neck.
She said Chirdon told her he thought she was pretty and she shouldn’t play with people’s emotions. She said she was able to push Chridon away and in the process cut her hand on the knife. She said she then ran into her bathroom and locked the door.
She said she left the bathroom when she couldn’t hear anything in the bedroom. Inside the bedroom she said she found the knife lying on the floor. She also said she found Chirdon’s cell phone in the bedroom and used the emergency 911 call feature to call 911.
She then exited the residence and hid by the garage and waited for police. Soon afterward the neighbors arrived and the state police arrived about 10 minutes later.
In addition to the cut on her hand, she said she had some small shallow cuts on her neck and face where Chirdon had held the knife against her.
A male neighbor of the victim testified that he was at a friend’s house, which was located across the street from the victim. He said he and three friends were playing cards when a relative called him and told him there was a 911 call to the home across the street.
He said the four of them got into a vehicle and drove over. He said they drove because it was raining hard outside.
Upon arrival he said he saw the victim hiding by the garage. He said he walked to the front door cracked open and saw an unknown male, Chirdon, sitting on a chair watching television. He told the male he had to leave and the police were on their way. He said Chirdon cursed at him and refused to leave. He said he and his three friends entered the home and walked Chirdon out of the home and waited for police.
The trial is expected to be completed today. However, there could be an issue with having enough jurors because the trial has already lost two jurors, leaving the jury with no more alternates.
Each trial has 12 jurors and two alternates, but one juror was excused prior to the start of the trial because she had been charged with a felony theft in Blair County.
When the trial broke for lunch, a juror informed the court that she didn’t know until now that she is friends with the victim’s ex-husband. She said they work at the same company and he often talked about his relationship with the alleged victim and it would be difficult for her to be unbiased and Ammerman excused her from the jury.
This leaves the trial with no more alternates. If another juror is excused, a mistrial would be declared and the commonwealth would have to start over.
Chirdon is represented by attorney Ralph For Jr. of Altoona.