A Medford man accused of attempting to snatch a 5-year-old boy from his mother in west Medford last week will be released from jail on his own recognizance.
Robert Vincent Jones, 47, was arraigned this afternoon in Jackson County Circuit Court before Judge Ben Bloom on a single misdemeanor charge of harassment. Originally jailed June 10 on a second-degree attempted kidnapping charge as well, Jones will not face that felony charge because a grand jury on Thursday declined to indict on the charge.
Jones' public defender Alyssa Bartholomew entered a not guilty plea on behalf of her client for the harassment charge. Bartholomew also requested the court drop Jones' $250,000 bail requirement, citing his lack of criminal record.
"He has no criminal history," Bartholomew said.
Family members say that Jones has had a long struggle with mental illness. His sister Lori Scearcy said Jones suffered a serious head injury in 1996 and also has bipolar disorder.
Bartholomew said Jones' family is anxious to have him placed in a stable environment with them where his medications can be monitored.
"We want to get him in with family and in a treatment facility," she said.
Jones was arrested on June 10 after a woman reported Jones had grabbed her 5-year-old son while they were walking near the intersection of Monroe Avenue and Grape Street. Police said Jones tried to pull the boy into an orange Ford Mustang. Jones has been held in the Jackson County Jail on $250,000 bail since the incident.
Bloom said he was legally obligated to release Jones on his own recognizance based on the misdemeanor nature of his current charge. He also ordered him to remain with family, and set a pretrial hearing July 29.
— Sanne Specht