An 8-year-old girl escaped a brutal knife attack that claimed the lives of her mother and teenage brother in a domestic incident on Monday morning.
Jermaine Agee is accused of fatally stabbing his ex-girlfriend Mayra Garcia, 38, as well as her 13-year-old son Jayden Taylor in their Nashville home this week. Garcia’s 16-year-old daughter Alexis Taylor was also injured in the attack and is in critical condition. The 38-year-old’s youngest daughter, Kaytlin, was the only family member “physically unharmed” in the incident, according to a police press release. The 8-year-old reportedly witnessed the stabbing but managed to escape to a neighbor’s house.
Agee, 37, was charged with two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder in the attack.
Authorities suspect Agee forcibly entered through the backdoor of his Garcia’s home sometime before 2 a.m. on Oct. 7. While in the kitchen, Agee allegedly retrieved a butcher knife and subsequently sought out his victims in the household.
“He went to the kitchen counter, retrieved a butcher-type knife, and apparently went to the bedrooms,” police stated.
Agee allegedly began stabbing Garcia and her children, then ordered the family to sit on a sofa, with the exception of Garcia’s 13-year-old son, who emergency responders found in critical condition in his bedroom. Garcia and her 16-year-old were stabbed more times before the mother darted out of the home to a neighbor’s house where “she collapsed on the porch,” police said. The woman’s daughters managed to flee to different neighbors’ homes.
"She said [Agee] was swinging knives," Alicia McKnight, a neighbor, recalled the 8-year-old telling her, according to the Tennessean.
"She said 'I'm scared for my life and I just want to be safe,'" the woman added. “She said she tried to wake her brother up but she knew he was dead."
Meanwhile, Agee allegedly hijacked his ex-girlfriend’s Volkswagen sedan and left the home. Police recovered the car hours later from a motel parking lot. However, the car was empty.
Later that morning, police received reports of a suspicious man who had blood on him wandering about a fast food restaurant. Authorities said Agee fled before police arrived at the establishment, but the 38-year-old was found hiding behind a storefront’s garbage can nearby. Police said he had sustained an injury to his hand while breaking into Garcia’s home.
In their search, investigators learned that Agee was known to frequent and stay in nearby homeless camps. At the time of his arrest, Agee was also wanted on a misdemeanor domestic assault charge related to an earlier incident involving Garcia.
Police had been called to Garcia’s daughter’s school last month after the former couple engaged in a verbal argument on school property. Staff there notified authorities that they observed “visible bruising to [Garcia’s] face and hands.” The mother told police that Agee had “hit her in the face multiple times” the night before, according to a separate arrest affidavit obtained by Oxygen.com. Agee, Garcia said, suspected her of cheating on him.
“When [Garcia] got away from [Agee], she was too scared to call police because she thought he would assault her again,” the affidavit stated.
Garcia was issued an order of protection against Agee following the alleged domestic assault.
The Alabama man has prior convictions for robbery and theft. He was released in June 2018 after serving three years, officials said.
"I've never had good feelings about [Agee]," the family’s neighbor, McKnight, told the Tennessean.
"He's a terrible person to do this."
Agee is due in court on Oct. 9, according to online court records.
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