Mattapan man charged with stabbing in his own apartment

Jimmy Ammons, 50, was arraigned today in Dorchester District Court on charges he plunged a knife into a woman in his apartment at 884 Cummins Highway yesterday morning.

The woman, 31, is recovering today at Boston Medical Center from a single stab wound so severe a doctor told a Boston Police detective at one point he expected her to die within 20 minutes, Assistant District Attorney Megan O’Rourke told Judge Rosalind Miller. "There was a lot of blood," O'Rourke said. "It was a very gory crime scene - there was blood everywhere."

O'Rourke said that Ammons stabbed the woman in a dispute over money, but did not elaborate. He then fled to his mother's house in Dorchester, where police traced him because he had registered his car to that address.

In seeking bail of $100,000 for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and assault with intent to murder, she argued that Ammons has a lengthy record dating to 1980 that includes "multiple convictions for crimes of violence" as well as two arrests for rapes and three restraining orders taken out by different women.

O'Rourke said that when Ammons was arrested, he denied stabbing the woman, but instead said "she fell on the knife."

Ammons' attorney, Virgen Palermo, did not deny a struggle between Ammons and the woman around 11:30 a.m. in his apartment over money - or that the woman wound up in the hospital with a stab wound.

But she told Miller that Ammons was actually the victim in the incident. Ammons, laid off last year as a city DPW sign painter, has been struggling with money issues. The woman, with whom Ammons was acquainted, showed up at his apartment yesterday morning with some guy and offered him $20 to let them use his bedroom for a little romp, she said. Ammons at first wanted to say no, but then thought "$20 sounded like a good thing."

But then, she said, Ammons caught the woman rifling through his drawers and $80 missing. They began to argue, she said: Ammons demanded the money and her out. The argument got physical. Palermo did not say how or when Ammons wound up with a knife in his hand, but said that at trial, he would argue the stabbing was accidential and brought on by the woman. She noted the woman had only a single stab wound, not multiple ones.

And, she continued, the victim is no saint herself, with a record that includes possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and a long list of larceny arrests - including one for which she was arraigned just last month in Dorchester District Court.

Palermo agreed that the seriousness of the charges made bail warranted. However, she asked for $5,000. She said that many of Ammon's arrests - many of which did not lead to convictions - and the three restraining orders occurred before 2004 and that for a man in Ammon's precarious financial position, "$100,000 is equal to no bail at all," and suggested that to set such high bail would be to fail a man caught falling "through the loops of the so-called safety net" that is supposed to protect the unemployed.

Miller set bail at $35,000.


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