CHESTERFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. – A preliminary exam was held Thursday for a 23-year-old Michigan man accused of partially stuffing his ex-girlfriend into a Christmas tree bag in the basement of her Chesterfield Township home.
Jonathan Elbers is charged with assault with intent to murder, home invasion, unlawful imprisonment and assaulting an officer causing injury charges.
He's being held in the Macomb County Jail on a $2.1 million bond.
Officers went to the woman's Chesterfield Township home on April 5 to check on her safety and heard her scream for help. Elbers suffered a head injury after she struck him with a porcelain statue but was able to escape from officers after a struggle. A rifle and duct tape were found in his parked truck.
He was found three days later hiding in a deer blind.
Woman says Elbers threatened to kill her
Charlotte Ventimiglia, 20, took the stand Thursday to tell her side of the story. She says she had broken up with Elbers after dating for a year and 1/2. He went to her home while her parents were on vacation. She told the court Elbers took her laptop computer and her cellphone.
She says her current boyfriend had called her phone in which she had him stored as "husband." Elbers saw that on her phone and snapped.
"And we were near the basement stairs, and it said 'husband,' and that's when he started to choke me," she said.
She said Elbers told her he would kill her multiple times and that he choked her until she passed out.
The testimony made Ventimiglia sick. She vomited while on the stand. The judge dismissed court until Friday.