Man who slashed girlfriend’s throat sentenced for attempted murder
Jessie Roy Wiley Jr. was sentenced on Thursday to a total of 180 years for an assault Wendy Ashworth that happened on August 28, of last year. Wiley, who was arrested on September 19, was originally charged with attempted capital murder, robbery, assault, abduction and extortion, shooting or stabbing in commission of a felony, robbery of a residence, felony possession of a weapon and grand theft auto in the incident.
The case was heard by Judge Leslie Osborn in the Mecklenburg Circuit Court.
Mecklenburg Commonwealth Attorney Allen Nash told the court that the 45-year-old Wiley had a long criminal record which included more than a dozen convictions. Wiley, he said, has spent a third of his life behind bars.
Nash called Wendy Ashworth, the victim in the case, to testify. Under questioning, Ashworth told the court that the attack took place on September 8 of last year and that she has been hospitalized several times. Next week, she said, she had another surgery scheduled.
She admitted that she sill carries scars on her neck and wrist from the attack, has been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and has trust issues.
She also said that she still loves Wiley and always will, has visited him and talked with him. She added that she hoped the court would show him mercy.
Defense Attorney Steven Kook told the court that Wiley does get calls from Ashworht and that Ashworth puts money into his account at the jail. When he’s released, he said, she will welcome him. Kook told the court that Wiley does have issues and a drug addiction and needs therapy.
Kook asked Ashworth if she plans to marry him when he is released.
“Yes sir,” she said. “That’s my intent if things change.”
On cross-examination, Nash asked her if she realized how foolish she sounded.
Ashworth paused for a moment. “Probably so, sir,” she replied.
“No further questions, you honor,” said Nash.
In closing arguments, Nash went over the details of the crime, which, he said “were pretty horrific.”
“I don’t know if we’ve seen this level of violence or sheer ill will to anyone in a long time,” said Nash.
According to Nash, following an argument, Wiley approached Ashworth from behind.
“She thought he was going to hug her,” said Nash.
Instead, he reached around and cut her throat with a switchblade. While that, said Nash, was terrible on it’s own, Wiley decided to take it further. Nash told the court that Wiley threw Ashworth on the bed and although Ashworth was “playing dead,” Wiley cut her neck on the other side.
“He realized that that two slices weren’t getting the job done,” said Nash, saying that he had then used his switchblade to cut her wrist.
Nash then told the court that as Ashworth pled for her life, she told Wiley to take her car and leave, she would tell police that someone had broken into the home and attacked her. Wiley then, said Nash, took $400 from Ashworth and took the car, leaving her for dead.
Ashworth, however, was able to get up, said Nash. “It’s a miracle that she’s sill alive.”
The case, he added, went beyond all decency.
Nash again talked about Wiley’s long criminal history, calling him a career criminal.
“What use do we have for him?” asked Nash. “Nothing. Society has absolutely no use for him.”
Nash added that he had been on probation at the time of this attack, “when he tried to take off her head.”
“He does not deserve to ever breath another breath of fresh air,” said Nash. “He’s not just a manipulator, he’s a master manipulator.”
Nash asked for an active sentence of 50 years.
Kook said that there were signs that Wiley could be rehabilitated. “There is some stuff to be hopeful in the future,” he said. Kook asked for a sentence on the low end of the guidelines, between 15 and 20 years.
“Why should we give Wiley any credit?” asked Nash. “This is one of the most atrocious and one of the worst crimes we’ve seen. Why do we even care about this man? What did he think the outcome was going to be?”
Wiley had nothing to say before Judge Osborn passed sentence.
“Incarceration doesn’t do any good,” said Judge Osborn, noting his record. “This is probably one of the most horrid cases of attempted murder I’ve ever heard. I understand that you and the victim have reconciled but that doesn’t matter.”
Judge Osborn sentenced Wiley to a total of 180 years but will serve an active sentence of 40 years.