Rachel Annaleah Jones


By Beth Lawrence


A Cullowhee woman is in jail on assault charges after she allegedly wielded a tool as a weapon.

Rachel Annaleah Jones, 26, of Cullowhee, was arrested for one felony count of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury and one misdemeanor count of assault with a deadly weapon after a fight at the Jackson County Recreation Complex in Cullowhee on Sunday night.

Jones attacked two people with a tire iron, according to arrest warrants.

“The assault appears to be dealing with a friend/domestic situation,” said Maj. Shannon Queen of Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.

Queen declined to say what led up to the physical attack.

The felony warrant states that Jones was arrested for attacking Wayne Mathis, 56, of Tuckasegee with the tire tool and left him with an unnamed serious injury. 

“To my understanding, the patient was airlifted (to Mission Hospital in Asheville),” Queen said. “But we will not know full medical conditions until we receive medical records.”

The misdemeanor warrant states that Jones attacked Tracy Filkins Mathis, 48, wife of Wayne Mathis, also of Tuckasegee with the tire iron “by hitting her in the head.”

This was not the first time the families clashed. In an earlier altercation, Jones was the victim.

That incident took place in December, and Tracy Mathis was arrested for punching Jones.

Tracy Mathis was charged with simple assault in that case, Queen said.

Calls about the most recent confrontation came into 911 dispatch shortly before 7 p.m. Sunday.

“There’s a man down up here; they are trying to take care of him,” an unidentified caller told the operator. “You need to send an ambulance.”

The caller could not tell the operator what had happened to the victim. 

“You don’t have any idea what’s going on with them?” the operator asks.

“No,” the caller replies. “She stopped me on the side of the road and asked if I could call the police.”

A second call to 911, apparently from Tracy Mathis, revealed more details. Names are redacted from the 911 transcripts.

The caller asks for emergency aid at the recreation center parking lot and begins to tell dispatch what took place.

“(She) hit him in the head with a tire iron,” the caller said. “His head is cut wide open. I’m trying to hold it. I can’t. It’s cut deep.”

The caller then describes what led up to the fight naming the alleged suspect. 

The caller claims that “she,” presumably Jones, stopped the vehicle on a curve and was confronted by a man, presumably Wayne Mathis.

“He pulled the door open,” the caller said. “She jumped out of the vehicle, and he was mad that I was sitting there with her. She took a tire iron and hit him straight in the head and then hit me in the back of the head.”

The caller says the suspect left the scene.

The caller later identified herself as the victim’s wife.

Jones was booked into the Jackson County Detention Center under a $10,000 secured bond. She was later released.