***UPDATE*** (updated at 11:54 a.m. on 4/20/07)
HARRISBURG, AR - Attempted murder charges were formally filed this morning against a Marked Tree man accused of stabbing his estranged wife and leaving her for dead in the Little River.
The incident happened Thursday afternoon in Poinsett County.
Sheriff Larry Mills says told K8 News this morning that bond for 52-year-old Fred Jones was set at $250,000 this morning, and he remains behind bars at the Poinsett County Jail.
Meanwhile, the condition of 51-year-old Ann Jones, his alleged victim, has been upgraded from critical to stable-but-serious at a Memphis hospital.
MARKED TREE, AR -- A woman is fighting for her life in the hospital and her estranged husband is the suspect. It happened just north of Marked Tree between Highway 308 and Adamson Road where the Little River crosses under ''Shaw Bridge Lane."
Legally, Fred and Ann Jones were married and lived in Marked Tree. Both worked at the Airtex plant.
"I don't know if they were separated or what, but my understanding is yes, they were married," says Poinsett County Sheriff Larry Mills.
According to residents from the area, it all began when Fred and his wife left the premises for lunch, never to return to their shift. Instead, Fred apparently took his wife just outside Marked Tree to the Shaw Lane gravel road, where he allegedly stabbed her numerous times and then threw her over the bridge into Little River.
"You know you see this on TV, you hear it in different places, but in your own hometown, it's praying time," says Statin Shockley, a longtime Marked Tree resident.
The small, quiet town of Marked Tree quickly was interrupted when calls began to come in to the police around 1:15 Thursday afternoon with stories of what was going on the rural county road.
"There was a female in the water below the bridge and there were some other people that had arrived on the scene at this time," says Sheriff Mills.
Two men were apparently driving over the bridge when they heard her screaming from below. They immediately stopped and pulled her out of the river still unsure of what had happened, but the blood left on the bridge soon made it a lot clearer.
"They immediately noticed that she had what appeared to be multiple stab wounds in the neck and the shoulder area when they ever they got here out of the water," says Sheriff Mills.
The victim was 51 year old Ann Jones, who was still conscious when they rescued her from the river. Her husband was nearby.
"When they drove up, they said the suspect got in his vehicle and fled the scene and we later found out that the suspect drove himself to the Marked Tree Police Department and turned himself in," says Sheriff Mills.
Ann Jones was transported by helicopter to The Med in Memphis, where her condition is still unknown at this time.