Local resident James Matthew Bell now faces two counts of attempted criminal homicide.
Bell was recently indicted by the Warren County grand jury for attempted first-degree murder, marking the second time prosecutors say he tried to harm a young woman.
“He’s a very dangerous man,” said District Attorney General Lisa Zavogiannis. “This guy is absolutely bad news.”
The most recent charge against Bell comes from an incident in February 2019 when he reportedly gave a ride to a young woman he had known for a few weeks. Once she was inside his vehicle, Bell would not let her out and drove her to a remote location, according to law enforcement.
The female said Bell made the statement he was going to kill her, but she managed to fight him off.
This incident allegedly took place a few days before another similar occurrence, also in February 2019. In that case a female was reportedly walking along Nashville Highway. Bell stopped and offered her a ride and she accepted, despite the fact she said in the arrest warrant she did not know him.
The female victim said she needed a ride to Walmart, but when she got in the car Bell turned around and headed out of town. She said he pulled into a business parking lot on Old Nashville Highway and immediately jumped on top of her.
According to the arrest warrant, the female was able to get her car door open to escape. She ran into the night to elude her attacker, reported to be Bell.
It’s because of the second incident in February 2019 law enforcement officers were searching for Bell. The other incident wasn’t reported until this year.
Bell was spotted by sheriff’s deputy Brystol Davis in March 2019 as the lawman was attempting to serve a warrant on Bell at his Bridge Street home. Bell was there but he fled in a 2018 Nissan Altima, a rental car.
“The vehicle accelerated at high speeds and led deputy Davis on a lengthy pursuit through Warren County,” the warrant reads. “During the pursuit, James M. Bell directed his vehicle at deputy Davis while reaching under the seat where a loaded firearm was later located causing deputy Davis to immediately fear for his life.”
As the chase continued, Bell reportedly directed his car into the path three pursuing officers – Sheriff Tommy Myers, Major Jason Walker and detective Todd Rowland.
“Each officer had to take evasive action to avoid collision and were placed in immediate fear of bodily injury or death,” the warrant says. “During the pursuit, the vehicle driven by James M. Bell disregarded numerous traffic laws and regulations and nearly struck numerous members of the motoring public and public on foot.”
Once Bell’s vehicle was disabled by spike strips on Beersheba Street in the Mt. Leo area, Bell was reportedly found to have more than a half ounce of meth in his pocket. A search of the vehicle netted five handguns, including a 9mm with the serial number removed.