The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

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March 9, 2013

Ashtabula man found guilty on attempted murder, kidnapping charges

Ernest ‘Mo’ Boles faces life in prison

JEFFERSON — The Ashtabula man accused of stabbing the mother of his baby 42 times was found guilty Friday on all 11 charges against him, including attempted aggravated murder, attempted murder and kidnapping.

Ernest Maurice Boles, 32, was convicted in the Sept. 19, 2011, stabbing of Brittany Hall, 20, at 6254 N. Bend Road, as Hall’s 5-year-old daughter screamed, “Stop killing Mom!”

The guilty verdicts ended an emotional three-day trial in Ashtabula County Common Pleas Judge Alfred Mackey’s courtroom. It took a five-man, seven-woman jury a little more than two hours to reach a verdict. Assistant Prosecutors Susan Thomas and Cecilia Cooper tried the case.

“We are grateful the jury listened to the evidence as close as they did,” Cooper said after the verdict was read late Friday afternoon. “It’s a difficult job for them.”

Thomas agreed.

Boles did not respond as the bailiff read the first five guilty verdicts: attempted aggravated murder, two counts of attempted murder and two counts of felonious assault.

When the bailiff started reading guilty to the remaining six: kidnapping, disruption of public services, three counts of endangering children, and domestic violence, Boles began to talk quietly with his attorney, public defender Marie Lane.

Brittany Hall sat in the back of the courtroom behind the prosecutor’s table. She held hands with a family member throughout the reading of the verdicts.

The maternal side of Boles’ family was present throughout the trial and sat behind him in the courtroom. At least once, he looked back at his mother during the reading.

Boles could spend the rest of his life in prison and will remain in custody at the county jail on a $200,000 bond until sentencing.

On Sept. 19, 2011, Hall had gone to the North Bend Road residence to pick up her children when she was assaulted.

Boles was watching the children while she was at her father’s funeral.

Hall wanted to go to the dinner following the funeral. Boles wanted her to take him to his father’s house.

“He got mad that her father’s wake was more important than him,” Cooper said in her closing  argument. “She’s on the phone ... when she feels the first stab and she started screaming, ‘Mo, You’re killing me, Mo!’”

“Mo” is the name friends and family use for Ernest Maurice Boles, Cooper said, noting he continued stabbing her as the children screamed for him to stop.

Hall, who still had the phone in her hand, called 911, but Boles took the phone, ripped the batteries out, took the other phone, grabbed his child, a change of clothes and took off in her vehicle, Cooper said.

“When Boles is gone, (the 5-year-old) says, ‘Mommy how do I get the hospital here?’” Cooper said. “Off he goes on his merry way to his girlfriend’s house on Woodman Avenue.”

Hall was left to bleed to death at the North Bend Road residence, Cooper said.

Luckily, a 911 call did make it through and Ashtabula County Sheriff’s deputies arrived at the scene at 3:53 p.m., according to testimony.

They immediately issued an Amber Alert for the 18-month-old child that Boles had taken with him and less than two hours later, Boles and the child were found in Ashtabula, according to testimony during the trial.

The child was not injured and Boles was transported to the county jail in Jefferson.

Boles testified Thursday that he didn’t know what happened. He said he blacked out.

His attorney said there was no intent to cause Hall’s death.

Cooper said Boles’ story wasn’t to be believed.

An ambulance transported Hall to Ashtabula County Medical Center, where she was later flown by medical helicopter to Cleveland Metro Health. She was in critical condition and suffered 42 stab wounds, including a punctured lung, Cooper said.

“His intent was to kill her,” she said. “She just wouldn’t die.”

Thomas said, “He’s a very violent man.”

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