Convicted murderer accused of attacking Catawba Co. couple, toddler with knife

CATAWBA COUNTY, N.C. — A man accused of attacking a couple and a 3-year-old with a knife is scheduled to appear before judge in Catawba County.

Police confirmed to Channel 9 that Jimmy Lee Randolph was released from prison earlier this year after serving more than 30 years of a life sentence for murdering a woman back in 1990.

The Conover police chief told Channel 9′s Dave Faherty he was sending his investigators down to the courthouse to work with the district attorney on the case.

Investigators said Randolph, 75, attacked the family Friday night at the apartment complex where they all live. It’s north of Conover along County Home Road.

The victims, Nathan Rash and Kenin Anzalone, said they had gotten out of their car when Randolph came up from behind and attacked them with a knife.

“I turned around and I seen him coming at me right here,” Rash said.

Investigators said the couple, along with the 3-year-old, were all hospitalized and had to receive stitches.

Randolph lived at the same apartment complex and police said he knew the victims.

“He had some obsession with me and I guess had some fantasy that we were in a relationship that was more than a friendship,” Anzalone said.

“I feel like he should never have been out,” Rash said.

According to the North Carolina Department of Corrections, Randolph was sentenced back in 1990 to life in prison for shooting and killing a woman at her workplace in Washington County. Authorities said Randolph, who was just 41 at the time, had previously been in a relationship with the woman he murdered.

Police in Conover said like in that the case 33 years ago, Randolph confessed to the crime Friday night when he called 911.

“I’m still really, like, I can’t really sleep at night. Sounds bother me,” Anzalone said. “Even though he’s locked up, it’s still kind of traumatizing.”

Anzalone showed Faherty the injuries to her 3-year old son. She’s since added a camera to her front door. She said she believes in second chances, but not now.

“What happened back then was very similar. And if he’s let out, it’s not going to stop,” she said. “He shouldn’t have been let out.”

Randolph is charged with two counts of assault inflicting serious injury and assault with a deadly weapon. He’s in jail on a $50,000 bond.

Faherty reached out to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety about why Randolph was released if he was serving a life sentence. A spokesperson with NCDPS said Randolph was eligible for parole because he was accused of murder before state law changed in 1994.

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