A Michigan man pleaded no contest Tuesday to a battery of charges, including attempted murder and home invasion, after he reportedly stuffed his ex-girlfriend into a Christmas bag in the basement of her Chesterfield Township home last April.
Jonathan Elbers, 24, of Tuscola County appeared in Macomb County Circuit Court in Mount Clemens on Tuesday to plead to the charges, which also included unlawful imprisonment, resisting arrest causing injury and larceny. He offered his no-contest plea, which is not an admission of guilt, a day before he was scheduled to go on trial, The Macomb Daily reports.
The charges stemmed from an incident in April when Elbers, apparently jealous, kicked in his former girlfriend’s home and began choking her.
“He said he’d kill me, twice,” the victim, Charlotte Ventimiglia, testified of the ordeal, according to The Macomb Daily. “He said he would put a shell in his head and my head, too.”
By the time police, who had been alerted by a concerned relatives of the woman after a friend alerted them that his Skype chat had been interrupted, arrived at her home, she had freed herself and reportedly hit the alleged assailant in the head with a porcelain rooster or chicken.
Injured, he fled toward the stairway, struggled with responding police officers and then ran away, police said. A loaded rifle allegedly stolen from his employer and duct tape were found in his truck parked nearby.
Friend’s Quick Thinking Saved Life
When Elbers made a court appearance last May, Macomb County Assistant Prosecutor William Cataldo said the friend’s quick thinking saved her life.
“By virtue of the fact that she was actually Skyping with him ... is one of the reasons she's still alive today," Macomb County Assistant Prosecutor William Cataldo said at the time. "There was background noise that concerned him when she never came back.”
Elbers reportedly fled when police arrived at the home and heard screaming coming from the basement. He was arrested about three days later when police discovered him hiding in a hunting blind, where he had wrapped himself in a piece of carpet.
Exhausted by the time police caught up with him, he reportedly said, “I had it. I give up,” police said.
Elbers will be sentenced Feb. 20. Attempted murder is punishable by up to life in prison. First-degree home invasion carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
Catch up on this story on New Baltimore-Chesterfield Patch:Arraignment Scheduled Monday for Chesterfield Township Fugitive
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