A felon will spend nearly six years in prison for stabbing his girlfriend's mother in the abdomen during an argument last winter.
Jonathan Michael Fraioli, 26, pleaded guilty to second-degree assault Tuesday in Jackson County Circuit Court. The crime carries a mandatory minimum five years and 10 months in prison, under Oregon's Measure 11 law.
Prosecutor Allan Smith said that Fraioli and his girlfriend's mother had been arguing at a residence on Dec. 28 when they decided to leave in a car. They were driving in the area of Table Rock and Airport roads in Medford when the argument flared up again, Smith said.
As the argument intensified, the victim reportedly told Fraioli to leave the car. She got out of the car, opened Fraioli's door and slapped him in the head, Smith said.
Fraioli then brandished what appeared to be a kitchen knife and stabbed the woman once in the abdomen, Smith said. Prosecutors didn't know why Fraioli had a kitchen knife in the car.
"It was a serious wound," Smith said. "It was 1 inch long and 4 inches deep. It's fortunate that it missed the vital organs."
The victim's fortune continued because an unmarked Medford police patrol car was cruising by the scene when the stabbing occurred.
Sgt. DJ Graham saw the victim recoil after being stabbed and confronted Fraioli, holding him at gunpoint before placing him under arrest on suspicion of assault and a failure to appear in court on a previous DUII citation.
In addition, Graham gave medical aide to the victim after gaining custody of Fraioli, Medford police Chief Tim George said.
"Graham was just in the right place at the right time and did a great job," George said.
A charge of first-degree assault was dropped as part of the plea deal with Fraioli's defense attorney.
The victim was taken to the hospital for treatment and has made a full recovery from the stabbing, Smith said.
"It was very fortuitous that she did not suffer permanent damage from this," Smith said.
Fraioli's criminal history in Oregon includes felony convictions for first-degree theft, felon in possession of a firearm, possession of methamphetamine and arrests for probation violations.
Fraioli also faces a burglary charge that is set for trial in the next few weeks, Smith said.
Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 541-776-4471 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.