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Victim of alleged Watertown home invasion testifies she feared for her life

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The victim of an alleged home invasion that turned violent testified Tuesday in Jefferson County Court that she feared for her life at her assailant’s hands.

Kimberly S. Sargent told jurors that Jack C. Yates, her former boyfriend, became enraged after she ended their three-year, on-again, off-again relationship and entered her new residence on East Hoard Street on May 9, 2012, without her knowledge or permission.

“He was just there, all of the sudden, in my face,” Ms. Sargent said.

Ms. Sargent and Mr. Yates lived together in a Glen Park apartment until a few weeks before the alleged incident, when she moved in with a female friend. She claimed that Mr. Yates had thrown her belongings onto the lawn at 413 E. Hoard St., but they had discussed the situation later at the Glen Park home and appeared to part as friends.

She said the amicable relationship continued until May 9, 2012, when she learned Mr. Yates was telling people she had recently brought back a large stash of drugs from Florida, a claim she denies. She said she confronted Mr. Yates about the claim and told him she did not want to see him any longer.

She said it was shortly after that confrontation that she found herself face to face in her kitchen with Mr. Yates, who had entered the residence through a back door. She testified that Mr. Yates then “bounced me off the refrigerator three or four times,” also shoving her against a counter before twisting her necklace tightly to her neck, causing her difficulty in breathing.

“He said that if he couldn’t have me that nobody could, and he was going to kill me, kill my girlfriend and kill himself,” Ms. Sargent said.

She said Mr. Yates pulled her hair and “stomped” on her legs and hips with work boots and then pulled a knife from his pocket, waving it near her neck. She claims Mr. Yates told her that “I was dead” if she had him arrested, saying she would not live to see a trial in the matter.

“It was not the Jack I knew. He was full of rage,” Ms. Sargent said. “I was begging him to stop. I was begging him not to hurt me.”

She said in the midst of the attack, her large dog growled at Mr. Yates, distracting him long enough for her to shove him out the back door and close and lock the door. She then called police.

Ms. Sargent said Mr. Yates had taken care of her teenage son when she went to state prison for about 15 months in 2008 for violating terms of her Drug Court contract in Lewis County. She had been referred to the substance abuse rehabilitation program for selling cocaine, but testified that she had not used any illegal substances since being incarcerated.

However, her son, Jordan J. Page, told defense attorney Eric T. Swartz, Watertown, that he had witnessed her using drugs and other witnesses also testified that Ms. Sargent had used drugs since being released from prison. Mr. Page also testified that he thinks of Mr. Yates as a “father figure” and still lives and works with him in Depauville. Testifying on Mr. Yates’s behalf, Mr. Page said he was given the choice of living with either his mother or Mr. Yates and chose Mr. Yates. He said he no longer has a relationship with his mother.

Mr. Swartz is expected to call a few additional defense witnesses this morning, although it was undetermined Tuesday whether Mr. Yates will take the stand.

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