An ex-boyfriend was convicted of stabbing a woman multiple times in her Burnsville bedroom, then setting off to do the same to her teen daughter only to be thwarted when the bloodied mother came to the girl's rescue.
Jurors deliberated for four hours before convicting Jason A. Lott, 38, of Burnsville, in Dakota County District Court on Monday of attempted second-degree murder and three assault counts in the June attack.
Corene Barnes said Tuesday that her daughter, 14, jumped on Lott's back, and "he was getting ready to stab her in the top of her head" with a long knife from the kitchen.
That's when she intervened, and "he stabbed me in the stomach," she recalled in an interview with the Star Tribune. "He was trying to stab me again, and I held onto the blade, and that's when the handle broke."
Lott fled the apartment on Portland Avenue in Burnsville — and left the state. He was tracked down in Indiana that week and arrested after a brief standoff.
County Attorney James Backstrom said he was pleased his office "brought Jason Lott to justice for such a brutal attack on the mother of his child and her daughter."
Backstrom said he "will be seeking a significant prison term" when Lott is sentenced on March 18 in Hastings. Lott faces up to a 40-year term on the attempted-murder conviction and many more years for the assault counts. His criminal history in Minnesota includes two convictions for domestic assault, one involving the same woman.
The number of domestic abusers and harassers convicted of felonies in Minnesota has risen dramatically over the past decade — from 229 in 2003 to nearly 1,500 in 2013.
Teen jumped on attacker
Barnes, 38, said Lott first attacked her while she was in bed, stabbing her in the leg.
She said she rolled onto the floor to escape, and that's when her daughter came into the room and jumped on Lott's back.
Along with grabbing the knife, Barnes said, "I kicked him as hard as I could and knocked him off balance. I didn't feel any pain because I was trying to save my daughter's life."
Barnes told police that on June 13 she ordered Lott, the father of one of her four children, to move out of the apartment. He did so but returned the next day — angry about not seeing their child — and took the woman's cellphone, keys and parking pass, according to prosecutors.
Lott unlocked the apartment door, entered her bedroom and told her no one else could have her before wielding the knife, according to the charges against him.
Lott fled the apartment, and Barnes went to a neighbor's to call for help. An ambulance took her to a hospital for emergency surgery.
Barnes said she never hesitated in confronting Lott: Mainly, I was thinking about my kids. If I die, where would they go?"