Man ordered to stand trial for violent assault on ex-girlfriend and her 3-year-old son

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By Steve Pope | August 21, 2018

McKees Rocks District Justice Bruce Boni on Tuesday, ordered a man to stand trial for the April 9 attack on his ex-girlfriend and her three-year-old son.

Janet Zigler, 27, of Stowe Township, testified for approximately 30 minutes how her ex-boyfriend, Jerrard Littlejohn, 32, of Munhall, beat, choked her — at times until she lost consciousness and kept her locked in the basement of her Stowe Township apartment.

“I can’t even count how many times he choked me,” Ms. Zigler told Judge Boni. She testified that Littlejohn became upset shortly after waking up because the couple was sleeping apart. She asked him to leave several times, but he refused.  In an attempt to calm him down Ms. Zigler said she telephoned Littlejohn’s mother saying, “It helps calm him down a lot.”

Instead, according to Ms. Zigler, it appeared to agitate him more. After leaving the apartment for a brief period, Littlejohn returned and followed Ms. Zigler into the bathroom and then into the bedroom, where the first of several assaults took place.

Ms. Zigler said she attempted to leave the apartment, but Littlejohn grabbed her, “He picked me up by my neck and slammed me on the ground.” “He kept choking me until I passed out and threw water on me, asking me ‘are you awoke yet [expletive].'” “He choked me so hard he flipped the couch over.”

According to a statement that Ms. Zigler gave police that is included in a criminal complaint, Littlejohn picked her “up off the floor by choking me up against the wall banging my head while saying ‘give me some money so I can leave.'” He also kept her locked in the basement for an unspecified amount of time, she testified.

During one assault as Littlejohn was attempting to hit her, he pushed the three-year-old out of the way, she said.

Police allege in the complaint that Ms. Zigler was “visibly upset and we could see red marks around her neck and throat area.” She was eventually taken to a local hospital where she received treatment for her injuries.

Ms. Zigler testified that when Littlejohn fled the residence he took her bank cards as well as a debit card that she uses to receive child support payments.  While Ms. Zigler was in the process of cancelling the cards she learned that someone had attempted to use one of them at a liquor store and an ATM.

Littlejohn is also facing charges in Common Pleas Court of attempted homicide, aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person, endangering the welfare of children, and intimidation of a witness, in connection with an assault on the three-year-old boy in May.

The complaint alleges that he punched the child in the groin five times, punched him in the chest and beat him with a belt.  The child sustained serious injuries, including a broken arm.  Littlejohn told the boy to keep quiet about the incident because they are “best friends,” the police say.

He is currently in the Allegheny County Jail after being denied bond in the attempted homicide case.

Steve Pope can be contacted at steve.pope@granstreetnews.com

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