The Washington Times-Herald

Local News

June 12, 2014

Tow officially charged with murder in son's death

Father tells cops he used knife to 'scare'

SHOALS — John B. Tow was officially charged with murder Thursday in the stabbing death of his son, Jonathan Tow.

John Tow, 60, is being held without bond at the Martin County Security Center, pending his initial hearing in Martin Circuit Court, per order of judge Lynne Ellis.

A probable cause affidavit was also filed in the case, detailing the injuries suffered by Jonathan Tow when he was stabbed by his father on Sunday. At 9:55 p.m., John called for an ambulance at his home, 715 Doane Road, for his son. Martin County Sheriff's deputies were also contacted, where they learned about the stabbing.

John told deputies and the Indiana State Police he and Jonathan were fighting before the stabbing occurred. He also told officers that John "was going to use the knife to scare and or intimidate Johnathan Tow," and swung his arms at him.

Johnathan, according to an autopsy performed Monday, died soon after he was stabbed on the left side of his neck, severing the carotid artery. Dr. James Jacobi reported in the affidavit the blood loss would have been fatal within 30 seconds of the stabbing. Jonathan's windpipe was also punctured and his mouth would have filled up with blood.

On Tuesday, Martin County Prosecutor Mike Steiner told the Times Herald, before the formal murder charge was filed, "the autopsy results were inconsistent with the original story."

"It was also inconsistent with some of the things we were seeing at the scene," Steiner said.

John Tow was originally charged with criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon after the stabbing. The Shoals man did have several prior cases, according to a court records search. In February, a charge of resisting law enforcement from 2012 was dismissed after John successfully completed a pretrial diversion program. During that arrest, he was also charged with possession of a controlled substance and battery resulting in bodily injury.

Jonathan Tow, also according to court records, had past drug cases. In 2009, he served some time for felony possession of a controlled substance and other misdemeanors.

Jonathan, 32, was a handyman and a talented artist, according to his obituary. On his Facebook page, many friends have left behind tributes and messages of sympathy for Jonathan. He leaves behind two daughters.

The funeral is scheduled for Friday in Shoals.

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