Man on trial makes suicide attempt
By Christy Graham
Particular to the
A man on trial in District Court on several child sex charges attempted suicide Wednesday, disrupting the judicial proceedings against him.
Jackie Lee Argabright Jr. was believed to be intoxicated when he showed up for court Wednesday morning. He was incoherent and somewhat disheveled in look.
The defendant is facing 5 counts of sexual assault on a child under 14 years of age. The charges stem from allegations created by two girls who say the defendant performed oral sex acts upon them and also forced them to carry out oral sex acts on him.
Soon after issues had been raised about Argabright’s sobriety and capacity to help in his own defense, the defendant was administered a preliminary breath test (PBT). Argabright was either unable or unwilling to complete the test and so was placed in handcuffs outside the presence of the jury.
The man was on his way to jail for the day on a contempt of court charge. But then he had an emergency medical episode and an ambulance was referred to as to the courthouse.
Argabright was wheeled away on a stretcher, but by late afternoon he was being flown by helicopter to a Las Vegas hospital.
Sources in law enforcement say Argabright guzzled a close to-fatal dose of antifreeze in the early-morning hours prior to he was to seem in court. His organs reportedly started to fail. The man was nevertheless alive Thursday morning.
Argabright’s defense attorney, Michael Becker, requested a mistrial on Thursday morning, but the prosecutor, Timothy Treffinger, stated that the defendant’s healthcare troubles had been due to his own actions, generating the point that a mistrial ought to not be granted.
Judge Robert Lane denied Becker’s request and chose to continue with the trial, regardless of the defendant’s capability to return ahead of the end of the week. Lane agreed the defendant’s own actions led to his absence in the courtroom on Thursday.
Closing statements are expected in the trial, which began Tuesday, by Friday morning.
Witnesses named to testify on Tuesday integrated the two alleged victims, the defendant’s wife, Jaime Argabright, and two sheriff’s deputies involved in the case, Jennifer Jonas and David Boruchowitz. Jonas recently resigned her position at the sheriff’s office.
Jaime Argabright described to the court how she felt when her husband was arrested.
“I didn’t know what to think. I was in a state of shock,” she said.
She was also asked to describe her sexual connection with her husband. She mentioned it amounted to only infrequent intimacy.
“I took it as partly a lack of interest and partly one thing else,” she stated.
Later she explained that portion of the problem was her husband’s job kept him on the road for close to nine months out of the year.
The defense asked her if she would have stayed with her husband if she believed that he committed the alleged crimes she said she would not have. The couple has been married 30 years.
Jonas was asked her impression of Jaime Argabright’s behavior for the duration of the police investigation.
“Not that she did anything that was uncooperative, but that she didn’t look too receptive or accepting of what we have been telling her,” the former deputy stated.
The final witness to testify on Tuesday was Boruchowitz, who had a lengthy keep on the witness stand.
Boruchowitz testified that the second victim had recanted, in writing, for the duration of the investigation. He told the court that she later retracted the letter, but not until soon after she was arrested for filing a false report.
Boruchowitz explained that the choice to take the minor into custody was in the greatest interest of the youngster, simply because it was believed that she was coached to retract her allegations.
Argabright’s attorneys questioned Boruchowitz about phone interviews he had with the defendant at the time the allegations were created. Boruchowitz characterized Argabright’s answers as passive, neither admitting nor denying guilt.
Going via transcripts of the phone contact among the detective and Argabright, the defense pointed out that Argabright stated, “I didn’t do it,” on quite a few occasions in the course of telephone conversations. Boruchowitz continued to testify that Argabright’s demeanor was passive or non-responsive for the duration of interviews with law enforcement.
The detective has made headlines for the last 12 months, including in previous news reports detailing attempts by nearby defense attorneys to safe Brady material that could be employed to impeach the detective’s testimony in court.
Outside the presence of the jury, Argabright’s attorneys had sought to present some of this details to the jury but that request was denied by Lane.
Argabright’s medical situation was unknown by press time. A verdict is anticipated in the case by late Friday.