Crime & Courts

Sumter man accused of slashing wife with axe

An argument Monday between a man and a woman in Sumter ended when the man reportedly decided to settle the dispute with an ax.

John Henry Bell, 57, of 522 Love St., is charged with criminal domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature after police responded to his home about 12:48 p.m.

According to the 52-year-old victim, she and the suspect were arguing about a bill when she was reportedly pushed onto the bed, struck in the face and choked. The woman told police she managed to get away, but the suspect then reportedly picked up a bush ax and swung at her, leaving a gash in her upper back and the back of her left arm above the elbow.

Bell's sister was also reportedly present during the altercation. She told police she tried to intervene earlier in the argument, but the suspect ordered her out of the house. As she was leaving, she said, she saw the suspect going into the closet where he keeps the ax but did not see him retrieve the weapon.

Sumter EMS responded to the scene and treated the victim for her injuries. However, she declined to be transported to a hospital for any further treatment.

Bell was being held Tuesday at Sumter-Lee Regional Detention Center pending bond.