An Onamia man needed 25 stitches to close a wound to his face after being attacked by a man with a machete on Jan. 7.
Mervel Jones III, 25, St. Cloud, was arrested and charged in Mille Lacs County District court with first-degree assault causing great bodily harm, possession of a semiautomatic assault weapon, and second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon. If found guilty of the three felonies, Jones could be sentenced to a maximum of up to 20 years in prison and up to a $30,000 fine.
A Mille Lacs County deputy and Isle police officer were called to 8418 Tuxedo Road, in the Izatys townhouse development, on a report that a man had been assaulted with a machete. They arrived on scene to find a 29-year-old male with an approximately 3-inch cut on his cheek, according to a criminal complaint filed in Mille Lacs County District Court.
The victim told authorities that someone had arrived at his house, met him at the doorway and cut him in the face with a machete. Witnesses at the scene added that the suspect, wearing a black ski mask, forced his way into the home. While the victim failed to identify the suspect, another witness later identified the suspect with the knife as Mervel Jones III, the complaint states.
The victim was transported to the hospital, where he received five internal stitches and 20 external stitches to his face.
Jones allegedly left the Tuxedo Road residence in a 2005 Chrysler Town & Country van that allegedly belonged to his girlfriend. The van was later located in the parking lot of Grand Casino Mille Lacs. Officers from the Mille Lacs Tribal Police Department looked into the windows of the van and observed a large knife on the floor of the van that matched the description of the one used to cut the victim. An automatic shotgun was also observed on the floor of the van, the complaint states.
Tribal officers met with casino security officers and observed surveillance footage that showed Jones arriving at the casino in the van and walking into the casino. Jones was not located in the casino, but was later apprehended at his home.
In an interview with investigators, Jones denied going to the Tuxedo Road residence. He did admit to knowing that the automatic shotgun was in the van. Jones, a convicted felon, is prohibited from possessing firearms, the complaint states.
Investigators seized the shoes that Jones was wearing. They were later able to match Jones’ shoes with prints in the snow at the Tuxedo Road residence.
Jones was released on bail on Jan. 8. He is scheduled to make his initial appearance in court on Tuesday, Jan. 21.
On Dec. 15 Jones was arrested at 45353 Timber Trail Road in Onamia, where he was allegedly standing in front of the house with a shotgun demanding property from a woman there.
Jones left in a minivan and was not located by authorities until the Jan. 7 incident on Tuxedo Road.
He was charged in Mille Lacs County District Court with possession of a semiautomatic assault weapon and making terroristic threats in connection with the Dec. 15 Onamia incident.