Police: Suspect beat fiancée in attempt to kill her

Police: Suspect beat fiancée in attempt to kill her
John Cundiff (Source: Craighead County Sheriff's Dept.)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A Jonesboro man accused of beating his fiancée "in an attempt to kill her" made his first court appearance Monday.

John Cundiff appeared before District Court Judge David Boling on Aug. 7 for charges of criminal attempt and possession of drug paraphernalia.

A probable cause affidavit states police were called to the 2100-block of Bridger Road on Aug. 3 in reference to an overdose.

When they arrived, officers found a woman with "several severe injuries to her face, neck and body," court documents state. "The sole male at this residence, with the female, was a man named John Cundiff who lives with her and is stated to be her fiancé."

Both Cundiff and the woman were taken to NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital, where it was found the woman had a fracture to the back of her head and a subdural hematoma. Hospital staff said that sort of injury usually happens from blunt force trauma. Court documents state the woman also had several marks on her neck consistent with strangulation/choking and distinct bruising throughout her body.

"The females [sic] eyes were severely swollen, she had a bloody nose and mouth, and all injuries appeared to be very recent," court documents state.

The woman was intubated, listed in critical condition, and airlifted to a medical center in Little Rock due to "life threatening injuries sustained."

The probable cause affidavit states during a Mirandized interview with Cundiff, he admitted to several things in reference to the incident. He allegedly told police he caused all the injuries to the woman.

"He stated that he punched the victim several times in the face, nose, cheeks, etc.," court documents state. "Mr. Cundiff explained all the other bruising to her as being his fault as well."

Cundiff allegedly told police he grabbed the woman's head and "slammed" her head on the floor twice.

"Mr. Cundiff also admitted that the two had been smoking methamphetamines and that he caused these injuries to his fiancé in an attempt to kill her," the probable cause affidavit states. "He stated that he was high, extremely paranoid and 'just saw red' during his attack on the victim."

Inside the home, the victim's blood was found throughout the house. Police also found drug paraphernalia used to smoke meth.

Cundiff, who was being held on a $500,000 temporary bond, remains behind bars for the same amount after appearing before Judge Boling.

If convicted on the charge of criminal attempt, Cundiff could face six to 30 years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines.

His next court date is scheduled for Sept. 29.

Judge Boling also issued a no-contact order between Cundiff and the victim.

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