TRAVERSE CITY — Authorities charged a South Carolina woman with felonious assault after a stabbing in Grand Traverse County sparked by an argument and a burning cigarette inside a vehicle.
Michigan State Police on July 14 arrested Jami Faye Evans, 45, on the side of a state highway in Mayfield Township after they responded at 8:30 p.m. to a reported stabbing. The violence purportedly resulted from a days-long argument that erupted with a lit cigarette.
Police said Evans’s mother was driving the car and pulled over when her adult daughter lit a cigarette in the backseat and refused to extinguish it. The mother, a 64-year-old Mesick woman, exited the car and confronted Evans, who drew a knife and began slashing at her mother, according to documents on file at 86th District Court in Traverse City.
“They have a pretty rocky relationship to begin with,” said MSP Lt. Derrick Carroll.
Evans brought her two children to Michigan for their usual summer visit with their grandmother; they live in an apartment in Havelock, North Carolina.
The two children witnessed their mother allegedly wound their grandmother, court records show.
Prior to the incident the four family members traveled for a camping trip to the Upper Peninsula. They were traveling back to Mesick when the stabbing happened, police said.
Carroll said the adult mother and daughter reportedly argued throughout the camping trip, and that behavior continued during the drive back to the elder’s Wexford County home.
“Things just came to a head when she lit the cigarette and refused to put it out,” the lieutenant said.
Court records show MSP troopers found the 3-inch folding knife used in the incident in a ditch alongside South M-37 by the KOA Campground. Emergency medical responders treated the victim at the scene for an arm laceration, then took her to Munson Medical Center in Traverse City for continued care.
District Court Magistrate Tammi Rodgers arraigned Evans Monday afternoon on felony assault with a dangerous weapon via videoconference from the Grand Traverse County Jail. Rodgers set her bond at 10 percent of $10,000 court records show.
Evans posted bond later that day and was released, jail records show.
Court officials scheduled a probable cause conference for July 30, with a preliminary hearing to follow on Aug. 5.
Evans could face up to four years in prison and a possible $2,000 fine, if convicted.
Prosecutor Noelle Moeggenberg could not be reached for comment.