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Sept. 27, 2022

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Woman in samurai sword attack sentenced to 19 years in prison

Emily Javier had pleaded guilty to attempted murder in January

By , Columbian Assistant Metro Editor
Published:

A Camas woman who tried to slice and stab to death her live-in boyfriend with a samurai sword, because she believed he was unfaithful and spent too much time playing video games, was sentenced Monday morning to 19 years in prison.

Emily Javier, 31, pleaded guilty Jan. 23 in Clark County Superior Court to attempted first-degree domestic violence murder in the March 3, 2018, attack. Javier, who had no prior criminal history, faced a standard sentencing range of 15 to 20 years in prison.

Deputy Prosecutor Anna Klein had asked for 20 years, stating the amount of premeditation that went into the attack was “huge and probably more than the court has ever seen.” She shared new details of Javier’s plan to kill her then-boyfriend, 29-year-old Alex Lovell, whom she had been dating for two years.

“This was an incredibly brutal attack,” Klein said.

Javier told investigators that about a week before the attack, she found evidence Lovell was cheating on her, including the dating app Tinder on his cellphone, scratches on his back and red hair in the shower drain; the hair was not hers, court records say.

According to Klein, Lovell described Javier as an “extremely jealous girlfriend” who would wake him at night to accuse him of being unfaithful if another woman liked his photo on Facebook. Javier was also upset that Lovell wanted to be a professional video gamer, Klein said.

Sword attack

But rather than confront Lovell about her suspicions, Javier hatched a plan to kill him, she told investigators, and purchased the sword from a store in Vancouver Mall for that purpose.

Klein said Javier researched online how to kill someone with a sword. She purchased plane tickets to take her ex-husband to Hawaii, for one last trip, and wrote notes to him, her mother and best friend, stating her intent to die by suicide.

Javier hid the sword on her side of the bed, as well as two knives, taped together, on the headboard in case the sword failed. She plied Lovell with alcohol that night and waited for him to go to bed. Once he was asleep, she hid his cellphone so he couldn’t call for help and used her phone to illuminate his throat.

But when she attempted to slice his throat, Javier hit Lovell with the blunt end of the sword, waking him.

That’s when he fought back.

Lovell previously told The Columbian his survival instincts kicked in, and he used his limbs to block the sword’s blows. At one point, he bear-hugged Javier and pleaded with her to stop. He eventually convinced her to call 911.

Shortly before 2 a.m., Camas police were dispatched to 2013 N.E. Garfield St. When police arrived, Javier — covered in blood and crying — walked out of the house with her hands up, court records say. First responders found Lovell lying in a pool of blood on the floor of the couple’s bedroom.

Among his injuries, several of Lovell’s fingers on his left hand were severed, though doctors were able to reattach them. He suffered a clean cut to his right foot and laceration to his knee that required a metal plate to repair some of the bone, he said.

‘Dark and diabolical’

Lovell wasn’t present at Javier’s sentencing, but his father Don Lovell addressed the court.

“Imagine being awakened to the horror of someone trying to slice your throat and stab you to death,” Don Lovell said during a victim impact statement.

“No human being deserves to be attacked in their sleep in this most vicious and barbaric way,” he added.

His son was stabbed 26 times and underwent six major surgeries, he said. Alex Lovell had 45 staples in his scalp, alone — with more than 150 staples over his entire body. He will be in physical therapy for the rest of his life and will live with the scars forever.

“Time does not always heal all wounds,” Don Lovell said.

Klein showed the grisly photos of Alex Lovell’s injuries in a sideshow to the court. His family members wept as the images flashed across the screen.

“Her intent was to kill our son,” Don Lovell said, adding that there was plenty of time for Javier to change her mind and “realize these were thoughts of a maniac.” If she was unhappy in the relationship, she could have left, he said.

The family has known Javier for over 10 years, Don Lovell said, because she worked as a manager for their business, The Barbers; that is how she met Alex Lovell. She was close with their family, Don Lovell said, and two days before the attack, had dinner at their home and acted as if everything was fine — at that time, she had already planned the slaying.

“That is a very scary human being,” he said. “You have violence inside of you that is dark and diabolical.”

He asked Judge Robert Lewis to keep Javier “off the streets for as long as the law allows.”

Childhood trauma

Vancouver defense attorney Chris Ramsay said there was little to dispute in regard to the facts of the case. However, he refuted the prosecution’s portrayal that Javier coldheartedly refused to render aid to Alex Lovell after she called 911.

“She was completely freaked out,” Ramsay said, before playing the 911 call for the judge.

Ramsay asked the judge to consider an exceptional downward sentence of 12 1/2 years in prison, citing childhood trauma. A forensic psychologist testified that Javier, for the first time, disclosed to him she was sexually abused as a child. The psychologist said Javier had difficulty forming healthy, normal relationships.

Although the psychologist found Javier suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, he said there was no specific diagnosis that showed a direct connection to her criminal conduct.

Ramsay said his client deserves to go to prison but asked the judge to consider the “layers in her life that contributed to that day.”

“Nobody could really see this coming, not to this degree,” he said.

Javier apologized and said she feels ashamed and sick to her stomach about her actions.

“I wish every day I could go back and change what I’ve done,” she said.

Judge Robert Lewis noted it’s unusual to see someone go from “no criminal record or arrests to committing a fairly horrific act.” He found no basis for a sentence below the standard range.

“Ms. Javier worked pretty hard to carry her plan out,” Lewis said, noting that she didn’t stop until she thought she killed Alex Lovell.

Lewis handed down a sentence of 230 months with 36 months of community custody. He also ordered that Javier undergo a mental health and domestic violence evaluation and treatment. She will have to pay at least $30,349.22 in restitution, and she is not to have contact with Alex Lovell or his family.

After the hearing, Don Lovell said he thought the sentence was appropriate.

“On the emotional side, you don’t want to see anyone like that on the streets,” he said. But the judge was bound by the parameters of the law, he said, so a higher-end sentence made sense.

He said his son is doing well and putting his life back together. It’s been a slow process to regain use of his appendages, Don Lovell said, but “he’s really diligent with therapy and a hard worker. He’s made some improvement.”

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