York City man gets 10-20 years for beating woman into unconsciousness

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch
Earnest Lee Jones II

A York City man who police said beat a woman into unconsciousness as he told her she was his property has been sentenced to a minimum of a decade in state prison.

Earnest Lee Jones II, 34, appeared in York County Court on Wednesday, Dec. 19, for sentencing after being convicted at trial Nov. 1.

Jurors convicted him of the felonies of aggravated assault and strangulation, court records state.

Presiding Common Pleas Judge Harry M. Ness sentenced Jones to 10 to 20 years in state prison and gave him credit for the 600 days Jones has already spent locked up, according to court records.

According to York City Police, Jones' former girlfriend spoke with officers at York Hospital about 10 p.m. March 27, 2017, less than an hour after she'd been beaten.

It happened in the victim's home on Salem Avenue, where Jones threw her across her apartment and told her she needed to pay him $20 to leave, court documents state.

Jones kicked and punched her and grabbed her by the hair and shoulders, then said, "You're not going anywhere ... you're my property," court documents state.

He choked the woman twice, causing her to lose consciousness once, according to police.

The woman tried to leave her home a number of times, but Jones wouldn't let her, according to court documents.

Dawn Stehler

Second arrest: During the assault, a woman named Dawn Melissa Stehler, blocked the woman from fleeing to safety, police said.

Police also have accused Stehler of hiding Jones in her home and lying to officers by telling them he wasn't there.

Stehler, 40, who at the time lived on South Pine Street in the city, pleaded guilty in August 2017 to false imprisonment for blocking Jones' assault victim from escaping.

She also pleaded guilty to hindering the apprehension of a suspect, for hiding Jones, court records state.

Members of the U.S. Marshals Service's fugitive task force went looking for Jones at Stehler's home on March 31, 2017, but Stehler said only she and her sister were there, court documents state.

However, task-force members found Jones hiding in a coat closet in Stehler's apartment, police said.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.