Axe attack puts 74-year-old career criminal behind bars for the last time

CHICAGO — At the age of 74, Peter Jones has a long, violent criminal history that includes convictions for attempted murder, second-degree murder, rape, robbery, and more. On Wednesday, he was sentenced to prison for attempted murder again, this time for attacking his girlfriend with an axe in 2022, months after getting out of prison for stabbing his previous girlfriend in 1993.

It is unlikely that Jones will hurt anyone else in his remaining years, at least not on this side of prison walls. Judge John Lyke sentenced him to life in prison, finding him to be “a habitual criminal for sentencing purposes,” according to court records.

Chicago police responded to a “check the well-being” call at Jones’ apartment in the 7900 block of South Langley around 10 p.m. on New Year’s Eve 2021. When they arrived, they found Jones standing in the hallway with his blood-covered hands and arms raised, prosecutors said.

He told them there was an injured woman inside his apartment.

“Arrest me,” Jones told the cops. “Handcuff me.” 

Peter Jones (Chicago Police Department)

The officers found his girlfriend of two months lying on the floor behind the apartment door, bleeding profusely. She had been savagely attacked with an axe that was lying nearby. Blood was spread throughout the room.

Despite her incapacitating injuries, the woman was able to confirm that Jones attacked her when police asked if he was responsible, officials said. Later, Jones allegedly admitted to hitting her with a hatchet.

In court, prosecutors revealed graphic details of the woman’s injuries, including multiple severe head wounds and traumatic injuries to her wrist and hands. She underwent several surgeries and remained unconscious for days.

A jury found him guilty of attempted murder, the only charge prosecutors took to trial, on February 21, according to court records. On Wednesday, Lyke handed down the life sentence. He denied routine defense motions for a new trial and sentence reduction.

The axe attack occurred just eight months after authorities released Jones from prison for the 1993 butcher knife attack on his then-girlfriend. Prosecutors said Jones stabbed that victim 17 times after she tried to break up with him.

A judge sentenced him to 55 years, but he was released after serving only half of that time, on April 26, 2021.

Before the 1993 attempted murder, he was convicted of second-degree murder in California in 1972, prosecutors said. He was paroled in 1978, made his way to Illinois, and was convicted the next year of rape, robbery, armed violence, and unlawful restraint, according to state records.

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Tim Hecke is CWBChicago's managing partner. He started his career at KMOX, the legendary news radio station in St. Louis. From there, he moved on to work at stations in Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York City. Tim went on to build syndicated radio news and content services that served every one of America's 100 largest radio markets. He became CWBChicago's managing partner in 2019. His email address is