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On any day of the year in Greene County, women are being beaten by a man they know.
Yes, men are victims, too. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one in four women and one in nine men will experience domestic violence in their lifetime.
Nevertheless, it is the male-on-female violence that is common, most bone-breaking, most potentially lethal — as when a man squeezes a woman’s throat or when he pushes her face down and jabs a gun to the back of her head and asks if she wants to die.
It is this version that often leads to the emergency room and sometimes the morgue.
Domestic violence is a black eye for Springfield and Greene County. It affects thousands of lives here every year — yet a major obstacle to addressing it is that many people still don’t believe it’s widespread or much of an issue.
Over the past five years, there have been at least 16 homicides or murder-suicides in Springfield that investigators say were domestic assaults. In a few cases, the defendants and victims were domestic partners, meaning they lived together, but it was unclear if they were “intimate partners.” All but one of the murders were committed by men and the one assault by a woman was ruled self-defense.
Nationally, 72 percent of all murder-suicides involve an intimate partner and 94 percent of victims are female, according to the coalition.
A major obstacle to addressing the problem is that many people still don’t believe domestic violence is widespread or that much of an issue, said Jamie Willis, director of the Greene County Family Justice Center.
In preparing a four-part special report that begins today, the Springfield Daily Citizen has done an extensive series of interviews and reviewed nearly 400 court cases involving domestic violence charges filed in Greene County.
The number of court cases is just a fraction of the number of incidents reported to police. In 2022 in Springfield alone, 2,394 domestic violence incidents were reported, and experts say thousands more were unreported as it is estimated that only 25 percent of victims of domestic violence report the attack to law enforcement.
In preparing this report, the Daily Citizen created two original databases.
- Part I: Black eye for Greene Co.
- Part II: Obstacles to leaving
- Part III: Systemic issues
- Part IV: Searching for solutions
One of them draws information from charges of domestic violence filed by Greene County prosecutors in 2022. The database was compiled in January 2023 from Case.net, the online database for Missouri courts. Case.net is an ever-changing collection of data where not only are charges added almost daily, but charges disappear almost daily when they are dropped for reasons unknown to the public.
The Daily Citizen found:
- As of April 2023, about half of the court cases had been resolved, and of those cases, 30.6 percent of the cases had already been dropped, which reflects the difficulties prosecutors face in getting victims to testify.
- In 44 percent of the cases, prosecutors filed the lowest possible charge, a misdemeanor. Missouri has four different types of domestic assault charges; the other three are more serious felonies.
- Of the misdemeanor cases resolved by April 2023 — 43.9 percent received a suspended execution of sentence, meaning they do not go to jail if they abide by their probation rules.
- A little more than one in five (22.8 percent) of defendants received jail time or prison at sentencing.
To better understand the circumstances in these cases, the Daily Citizen compiled a second database from a review of 150 probable cause statements filed in conjunction with the 2022 domestic violence charges. These court documents were filed by police who responded to the scene of the alleged crimes.
The Daily Citizen also found:
- Choking or strangulation — one of the most abusive and lethal ways to demonstrate power and control in domestic violence situations — occurred in about one-third of the cases.
- In 10 of 150 cases, or 6.7 percent, police noted the abuser had a gun. In five of those cases, children were present. In domestic homicides, a fatal version of domestic violence, a gun often is used.
- 83 percent of those charged are male. Their victim was a female 86 percent of the time.
- 17 percent of those charged are female. Their victim was another woman 46 percent of the time.
- 22 percent of defendants are Black. The Black population of Greene County is 3.5 percent. (The occurrence of domestic violence in the Black community nationally is higher than among whites, according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline. The hotline attributes this to systemic racism.)
- The average age of defendants is 35. The youngest was 18 and the oldest was 72.
Power, control, isolation and stolen lives
Even here in Springfield — No. 1 among Missouri’s 10 largest cities in reports of domestic violence per 100,000 people — many doubt the magnitude, breadth and terror of intimate partner violence.
“So many people don’t think that this is a real problem in their community,” said Willis, whose center is a one-stop shop for victims of any kind of abuse. “Even survivors sometimes feel alone and like no one else is experiencing or could understand where they are coming from.
“This is not something that you are experiencing on your own or that no one else has ever experienced before and there are services out there to help you.”
Emily Shook has sent abusers to prison. She is first assistant prosecuting attorney in the domestic violence unit in Greene County.
Long before there is physical violence, Shook said, many women have their lives stolen from them without realizing it.
“Not allowing you communication, taking your meds from you, denying you medical treatment or access to things that you need to be well, all of those things are abuse that people don’t necessarily identify,” Shook said.
“There are people who know and understand how that works and who are willing to help you get the resources you need to make the changes you’re ready to make.”
Domestic violence has a pattern of incremental control and isolation that often leads to bursts of violence that can be triggered by something as mundane as who picks the song on the radio.
“Domestic violence is a cycle of violence and it doesn’t start at ‘I want you to quit your job,'” Willis said.
“It starts like, ‘Oh, I love you so much and I know you are really stressed-out at work. Maybe you just get a part-time job and I’ll carry the bills and then it turns into, ‘Why don’t you just stay home with the kids?'”
Soon after, Willis said, “You are staying at home with the kids, you don’t need access to the money. ‘I’ll pay the bills. I’ll give you an allowance.’
“And it gets worse and worse and worse, until they have no access to resources on their own and then when they are trying to escape, they have nowhere to go. They haven’t had a job in their recent history.”
Some have not had their own credit card in years.
Abusers often will threaten suicide
A common control tactic is for the abuser to threaten suicide.
In fact, when an abuser does so, it is a strong indication the partner’s life is in danger.
“It is a big point of power and control, making the victim responsible for the abuser’s life,” said Tim Stillings, who works at Harmony House, a Springfield shelter for victims of domestic violence.
“That is a really hard thing (for victims) to hear,” he said. “At the end of the day, the victims and clients that we serve — their abusers are most often romantic partners, somebody they’ve been with for a long time.
“Our hearts and our brains aren’t always on the same page. It can be really hard to hear somebody you care about say those things.”
The 397 cases reflects countless more victims
In case there is any doubt, research by the Daily Citizen shows domestic violence is part of Greene County culture. It is pervasive.
Whether those abused leave or stay at home with the abuser, their reality is that it remains a man’s world in which everything from the courts to public perception are lined up against them.
For a moment, consider the 397 domestic assault charges from 2022 reviewed by the Daily Citizen (some of those cases are from incidents that occurred in 2021).
It includes the less frequent instances when a man assaults a male roommate, for example, or when a woman assaults a woman she knows or when a woman assaults a man she knows. It is generally the “knowing” that legally makes the crime a “domestic assault” rather than a “common assault.”
It is estimated only 25 percent of victims of domestic violence report the attack to law enforcement, according to Willis.
Next, consider that most cases referred by police to the Greene County Prosecuting Attorney’s office do not result in criminal charges.
The percentage in 2022 was 41.8.
“It’s because we don’t have sufficient evidence, because we don’t have cooperative witnesses,” Shook said.
On top of all this, 70 percent to 80 percent of victims of domestic violence who report it to police later recant or refuse to testify, Shook said.
The reality is that the 397 criminal cases reviewed by the Daily Citizen are but a sliver of potentially thousands of victims.
Defining domestic violence (click to expand)
Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power, isolation and control committed by one intimate partner against another.
Physical abuse is one of the most easily identified types of abuse. It involves the use of physical violence, or threats of it, to maintain power over an individual. Because of this, survivors are afraid and uncertain when more abuse will occur.
Emotional abuse includes non-physical behaviors that are meant to control, isolate or frighten someone.
Sexual abuse is when a partner controls the physical and sexual intimacy in a relationship. This often involves acting in a way that is non-consensual and forced.
Financial or economic abuse occurs when an abusive partner extends power and control into the financial situation of the partner.
Stalking occurs when someone watches, follows, or harasses another person repeatedly, making that person feel afraid or unsafe. Stalking can include behaviors like showing up at the other person’s home or workplace unannounced or uninvited; sending unwanted texts, messages, letters, emails, or voicemails; or calling and hanging up repeatedly or making unwanted phone calls to the other person, or the other person’s family or the other person’s employer.
Digital abuse is the use of technology and the internet to bully, harass, stalk, intimidate, or control a partner.
Sexual coercion lies on the continuum of sexually aggressive behavior. It can range from begging and persuasion to forced sexual contact.
Reproductive coercion is a form of power and control where one partner strips another of the ability to control their own reproductive system.
— Information from the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Learn more at thehotline.org.
Tentacles of fear and control reach deep
Domestic violence is not like a bar fight, where the two parties can be strangers. One punches the other in the nose and they might not ever see each other again, other than possibly in court.
The personal dynamics linking victim and abuser in domestic violence are complex and ever-changing, Shook said. The tentacles of fear and control can reach deep into victims.
These are people who know each other, perhaps once loved each other — and maybe still do — and often have children together.
A bleak, disturbing look provided by court documents
In writing these stories, the Daily Citizen reviewed 150 probable cause statements connected to the charges. The probable cause statement is an important document; it is the foundation for possible criminal charges.
A law enforcement officer investigates the allegation of domestic violence — in Springfield, they arrive on scene within about 10 minutes of when the call came in.
Officers look for bruises, talk to participants and witnesses, if there are any, and can review cell phone information. If officers in Springfield and Greene County believe a crime was committed, they write a probable cause statement, under penalty of perjury, and the abuser can be arrested and held for 24 hours.
If two people were fighting and striking one another, the officer will determine who the “primary aggressor” was and arrest that person. In cases of men and women, it is almost always the man.
If a weapon was used or was alleged to have been used, the officer will seize it as evidence at the time of arrest.
In Missouri, officers have discretion that most police don’t have in the rest of the nation. Here, they must make an arrest if they respond to a second call of domestic violence to the same address within a span of 12 hours. In most states, an arrest must be made during the first response to a call of domestic violence.
By law, any information in the report that could possibly identify the victim — including name, address and relationship to the alleged abuser — is redacted (erased) so the public, including reporters, cannot view it.
The public can see the name of the suspect, but not the name of the victim, who is identified by initials.
The Daily Citizen’s review of 150 domestic assault probable cause statements shines a light on domestic violence in Greene County.
The visceral reaction to the details in those court documents is similar to what one feels when flipping on a light in a roach-infested room.
Victims are having their heads bashed against kitchen cabinets, they are beaten with broom sticks, doused in water and sent outside naked on cold winter nights. Women are fighting for their phones as they try to call the police. They are strangled to the point where blood vessels in their eyes burst.
What follows — and what you can read in the accompanying slide show — is a bleak and disturbing look at what happens across Greene County on a daily basis. To help shield the identity of victims, the Daily Citizen has substituted some names in the reports, listing the alleged perpetrator’s first name in parentheses, rather than listing a last name, which is often the same as the victim.
WARNING: A caution before proceeding — many of these details are graphic and disturbing.
‘If you fight and I kill you, it’s your fault’
- Date of assault: 1/27/2022
- Willard Police Department
“At approximately 0247 hours Dispatch notified Cpl. Billie Deckard of a female walking westbound on US 160 at Hughes Road with blood on her face. The temperature outside was 27 degrees and it was snowing. Cpl. Deckard was at the Willard Police Station when the female, identified as PSR, knocked on the door.
“PSR was wearing only a bath towel wrapped around her and shaking from the cold. She had an approximately inch and one-half cut above her right eyebrow that was bleeding down her face. She had a swollen lip. PSR’s hair was dripping wet. Cpl. Deckard took PSR to the interview room, provided her with clothing, a blanket and a heater.
“PSR stated that she rolled over and without provocation, (Albert) pushed her off the bed and onto the floor. PSR stated (Albert) got on top of her and used his hands to strangle her neck, which caused her to black out a few times.
“PSR said (Albert) head-butted her which caused the laceration on her forehead.
“(Albert) slammed her head against the wall multiple times. She said he put his knees on her shoulders and was yelling that she was a liar.
“He told her ‘If you fight and I kill you, it’s your fault.’ (Albert) made PSR go into the bathroom and demanded she remove all her clothing. PSR said (Albert) turned the cold-shower water on, removed the detachable shower head and sprayed her. (Albert) told her to get into the tub where he turned the water to hot and sprayed her in the face.
“(Albert) told PSR to go outside naked and get her wallet out of the vehicle. PSR stated she exited the house, grabbed a towel from outside and walked to the Police Department because she was afraid to go back into the house.
“Officer Hansen and Greene County deputies located (Albert) in his semi-truck pretending to be asleep.
“Cpl. Deckard transported PSR to her residence. PSR had difficulty walking. She was limping, using small steps and moaning as she walked.
“In PSR and (Albert’s) master bedroom, Cpl. Deckard saw clothing with blood drops and a chunk of PSR’s hair. Behind the master bedroom door was blood splatter on the wall from floor to ceiling.”
‘She thought she was going to die and feared for her and children’s safety’
- Date of assault: 10/26/2022
- Springfield Police Department
According to information provided to the officer, “her husband assaulted her and her jaw was possibly dislocated. The caller was able to get her two children out of the house and over to the neighbor’s house. Ages 8 and 3.
“WV stated when he entered the residence ‘all hell broke loose,’ and he began yelling and cursing at her and the children.
“WV stated (Jaime) pinned her on the bed and then grabbed her neck with enough force to render her unconscious for an unknown amount of time causing her to have a seizure and urinate herself. WV stated when she regained consciousness, she was struck in the face multiple times with a closed fist, one of them hitting her left eye leaving the bruise.
“WV stated (Jaime) then grabbed his tan-colored .357 handgun and put it to her head and pressed the handgun at and to the children’s heads.
“(Name redacted) was on the top bunk during the assault and (Jaime) dared (name redacted) to come down from the top bed to stop him and help WV.
“She did not know how but both of the children were in her arms on the bottom bed, while (Jaime) was pointing the handgun at them and threatening to kill them. WV stated (Jaime) put the handgun to his head and threatened to kill himself.
“(Jaime) then had a flashlight and began assaulting her with it. She stated she tried to protect herself by kicking him off. She stated he repeatedly struck her with the flashlight an unknown amount of times
“WV stated the incident lasted approximately two or three hours. She later stated during the initial interview, the assault stopped after she was rendered unconscious. WV stated multiple times during the interview she thought she was going to die and feared for her and children’s safety.
“I asked WV what was keeping her from leaving the residence and she stated ‘fear.’”
He ‘became angry when an unknown male walked by her and ‘complimented’ her’
- Date of assault: 11/28/2021
- Springfield Police Department
“She said they were all having a good time and then added (Robert) became angry when an unknown male walked by her and ‘complimented’ her. She said (Robert) grabbed her by the arm, pulled her, and then pushed her backwards but she did not fall.
“SC stated (Robert) then began to drag her out of the club. She stated several other females along the way asked if everything was fine, and she stated it was.
“She said once they entered the vehicle, (Robert) began to yell and scream at her and ‘called me a whore’ because of the interaction she had with the unknown male inside the club. She then stated (Robert) began to ‘slam’ her head into the passenger side window and door inside the vehicle’
“She stated the assault continued as (Robert) began to drive erratically, ran red lights, and sped over 80 mph.
“As (Robert) drove, he continued to ‘slam’ her head into the passenger door and window. She said at one point (Robert) placed his forearm across her throat and pinned her up against the window.
“SC told the officer that (Robert) has threatened to kill her in the past and she fears he might try to do so.”
“(A female witness in the vehicle) stated she called 911 due to the assault committed by (Robert). She stated (Robert) then began to threaten her because she called 911 and was on the phone with dispatchers. (She) said at one point (Robert) reached into the backseat and ‘slapped the phone’ out of her hand.”
‘He struck her face with the butt of his pistol’
- Date of assault: 2/4/2022
- Springfield Police Department
“Officer Torres observed her to have two black eyes and a bruised nose. The left eye was bruised worse than the right and had multiple shades of purple, blue, black and red. The bruising caused her eye to be nearly swollen shut. The blood vessels in the white portion of her left eye had burst which turned it red and made no white visible.
“AM also had a small laceration in the area of her right cheek bone. This laceration had been medically stitched closed.
“AM stated a short time later, he requested for her to do something for him as a slave and she refused. She stated this caused him to become angry.
“AM stated she then observed a firearm in his hand when he exited the bathroom and entered the living room.
“AM stated once (Robert) had the firearm in his hand, he ‘charged’ at her while she was still seated on the living room couch. She stated he stood over her and straddled her legs while he ‘pistol whipped’ her. AM stated he struck her face with the butt of his pistol with his right hand. Officer Torres asked her to estimate how many times she was struck in the face, and she said ten times.
“She stated her vision became blurry and she later began to see black spots. She stated while he was hitting her in the face with the gun, he made her get on the living room floor. AM stated he pointed the gun directly at her face and then placed it in her mouth. AM stated she was in fear of her life and thought she was going to be killed by (Robert), so she complied.
“AM laid face down on the hardwood floor of the living room with her head turned to the right with the right portion of her face exposed. He then pressed his foot on her face and applied pressure downward.
“She told him to stop, and he continued stepping on her face. AM attempted to lift her face up off the ground and at that time he stepped aggressively on her face which caused her head to bounce off the wooden floor. She could not remember additional information.”
If you talk, don’t ‘make the assault seem as bad as it was’
- Date of assault: June 21, 2022
- Rogersville Police Department
“AT said (Michael) grabbed her by the throat, hit her in the face with an open hand, and slammed her head against a wall.
“She said she was nauseous and had thrown up after the injury. There was a swollen area on/near her left cheekbone.
“AT ultimately refused to go to the hospital to get checked out because she said she had to go get her kids and had a certain time she had to be there.
“(Michael) told AT that eventually she was going to have to talk with someone and if she had to say anything to not make the assault seem as bad as it was.
“AT reported she refused to tell (Michael) where she was applying for a new job. After refusing, (Michael) told AT that she is a “f**king whore.”
“I believe that (Michael) poses an inherent risk to the victim in this case, as he is reported out on bond for a previous domestic assault charge with the same victim.”
She felt him ‘place the gun against the back of her head’
- Date of assault: July 21, 2021
- Springfield Police Department
“MT tried to go into the bedroom and walked past (John). MT said (John) was blocking her way by standing in the doorway of the bedroom. MT ‘shoved past’ (John) and bumped her right shoulder into his right shoulder. (John) called MT a ‘bitch’ and threatened to kill her.
“(John) was yelling and screaming in her face that he was going to ‘beat her ass.’
“MT said (John) exited the bedroom and came back with what she described as an ‘older revolver.’
She said the handle to the revolver was wooden and ‘had an extra long barrel.’
“MT said (John) entered the room a couple of times, ‘waving’ the gun in her face.
“MT said (John) threatened to shoot himself and pointed the gun ‘at his right temple.’
“MT lay down on the bed with her face down on the bed and into a pillow. MT felt (John) place the gun against the back of her head. (John) threatened to shoot her with the gun since she would not look at him.
“(John) asked MT if she wanted to die. MT told Officer Lohkamp she had been suicidal before and she told (John) to, ‘just kill her and do her the favor.’
“MT said (John) stood in the living room and screamed at her and blamed her for everything that was happening. MT remained in the bedroom when (John) walked back in. MT said (John) did not have the revolver when he came back into the bedroom.
“MT said (John) got on top of her, put his hand around her throat and squeezed, ‘harder and longer than the times before.’ MT said while (John) was choking her, her vision started to ‘get dark and then it went black.’ MT believed it lasted a second.
“Officer Lohkamp observed the following on MT: broken blood vessel in her eyes, swelling on the left and right sides of her throat.
“Officer Lohkamp was told by MT that her ‘larynx’ was sore from talking and MT was only able to whisper toward the end of the interview. MT also complained that it hurt her neck to hold her head up.”
‘The assault had felt like forever’
- Date of assault: Jan. 5, 2022
- Springfield Police Department
“IB attempted to open the garage door when she was stopped by (Brandon).
“(Brandon) grabbed the hood of her sweatshirt and drug her backwards. IB stated she was drug across the garage and over the items inside of the garage including some bicycles.
“IB stated she was drug through the kitchen and the kitchen table was knocked over.
“IB stated she was unsure of all the times she was struck by (Brandon). IB stated once she lost her glasses, she shut her eyes while (Brandon) was hitting her.
“IB stated the assault had felt like forever and she was unsure how she obtained all the bruising, abrasions, and knots. Photographs were taken of her injuries.
“(Brandon) stated they both had been drinking vodka.
“I then asked (Brandon) about the plastic bag found in his pants pocket that appeared to be meth. (Brandon) stated he had no idea what it was and that they were not his pants. (Brandon) stated the pants he had on belonged to his roommate.
“I asked (Brandon) again how IB got the injuries to her and he stated they were probably from his dog jumping on her.”
‘I’ve never been beat this bad’
- Date of assault: Nov. 22, 2022
- Springfield Police Department
“One of the first things she said was, ‘I’ve never been beat this bad.’ EMS evaluated CD and told her due to her external injuries they wanted to transport her to the hospital. CD was taken to the hospital.
“CD stated they were having a conversation and then ‘things escalated.’ CD stated (Cole) ‘slammed me onto my bed.’ CD asked him to let her up and then she remembered going from her bed to her bedroom floor, and her face was covered in blood.
“CD said as she was on the floor, (Cole) punched her an unknown number of times in her face and was holding her by her hair, and he ‘slammed’ her head into the bedroom floor an unknown number of times.
“CD said she heard her 3-year-old daughter screaming, so she asked (Cole) to let her up.
“CD said once she observed her injuries, she told (Cole) to “Get the f**k out of my house!”
“She remembered after telling (Cole) to leave being in the bathtub because (Cole) ‘slammed me into the tub.’
“CD said at that point she tried ‘gouging his eyes out,’ but (Cole) had her by her hair/head and was ‘slamming’ her head into the shower walls.
“CD said she remembered (Cole) dragging her by her head/hair from the bathroom down the hallway, and she hit her head on a wall.
“She remembered spitting up blood and she heard her daughter screaming.
“She remembered (Cole) saying he would ‘f**king kill me,’ and she responded with, ‘Not if I kill you first.’
“I asked (Cole) if he hit CD in any way during the incident and he stated he grabbed her face and held her down and spit on her.
“I asked (Cole) how CD got her injuries and he stated probably from herself.”
‘He told her he was going to ‘take everything he wanted’ from her’
- Date of assault: Nov. 19, 2022
- Springfield Police Department
“After 2200 hours she returned home to her apartment after a date. (Thomas) was at the apartment, and they began arguing over the use of CS’s cell phone.
“(Thomas) pushed CS multiple times, causing her to fall on the kitchen floor and bump her left forearm and head.
“She began crying and asked (Thomas) why he was hurting her. (Thomas) demanded she tell him the truth and stop lying about their relationship.
“CS tried to walk away from (Thomas), but he grabbed her and choked her with his arm wrapped around her neck.
“(Thomas) continued choking her, which caused her to lose and regain consciousness multiple times. Sometimes he would relax the pressure on her neck and try talking to her about their relationship.
“He called her a liar and worthless, jabbed her hard on the chest with his fingers, and choked her some more.
“CS told (Thomas) she thought he was going to kill her, but he whispered to her that he was not going to do that. CS struggled with (Thomas) in an attempt to escape. She also bit him on the arm.
“CS reported that as (Thomas) was choking her, he told her he was going to ‘take everything he wanted’ from her.'”
‘Threatened to send people to her house to kill her’
- Date of assault: 11/25/2021
- Springfield Police Department
“JH stated that she drove her mother’s car to the address, which contained some prescription medications. JH got out of the vehicle and noticed that the medicine was missing, so she confronted Isaiah about it because he had a ‘problem’ with pills.
“Isaiah gave the medicine back to JH and then got mad because he ‘got caught.’ (Isaiah) then head butted JH in the nose. JH was attempting to leave at that point, (Isaiah) would not let her.
“Isaiah was upset about her past relationships and threatened to send people to her house to kill her. JH began to drive away and Isaiah began to hit her in the head. JH said that he had assaulted her in the past and she knew to stop the car and protect herself.
“JH stated that he hit her multiple times, causing a laceration to the top of her head. JH began profusely bleeding and told him to take her to the hospital, but he refused.
“On question one, which asked if he had ever used a weapon against you, she replied that (Isaiah) had pistol whipped her in the past, causing her tooth to break.”
‘He will ultimately bond out and beat the case’
- Date of assault: 12/11/2021
- Greene County Sheriff’s office
“AD said (Galvin) punched her repeatedly in the abdomen, at least once in the face, and kicked her in the shins. AD said the assault continued for at least ten minutes and she was uncertain how many times she was struck.
“AD said (Galvin) repeatedly used his forearm to restrict her breathing and strangle her. AD said (Galvin) grabbed her phone and demanded she delete a recording that captured the initial part of the confrontation and assault.
“AD said (Galvin) strangled her with his forearm and told her to give up her passcode on her phone so he could delete the video. AD said she acquiesced several times but refused to delete the video once she could breathe again.
“AD said she never lost consciousness but was unable to breathe each time. AD said she scratched and clawed at (Galvin’s) arms to get him to let go.
“AD said (Galvin) grabbed her and threw her on the ground in the kitchen, where he used the bottom of his shoe to kick her once in the left side of her head. AD produced a video of the incident that corroborated her statements.
“(Galvin) repeatedly stated AD’s injuries were possibly self-inflicted.
“(Galvin) said he understood how things were going to progress. (Galvin) said he will ultimately bond out and ‘beat the case.’”
‘Pointed the handgun to the head’ of a sleeping 3-year-old
- Date of assault: 9/8/2021
- Springfield Police Department
“JN sent Neil to pick up her prescription for hydrocodone at Walgreens. Neil told JN that Walgreens lost the pills. JN later called Walgreens and they stated Neil had picked them up.
“JN stated Neil was coming down off meth and was very paranoid. JN stated when Neil came home, they began to argue over the pills and Neil became aggressive.
“JN stated Neil poured water on her laptop and broke it in half and took her cell phones. JN stated she then noticed Neil holding her black .380 Smith and Wesson pistol.
“JN stated Neil pointed the gun to the right side of her head. JN stated Neil was demanding the titles to their vehicles. Neil then told JN that he was going to ‘kill mom and burn this motherfu**er down with (name redacted) 3-year-old in it.’
“JN stated that during the incident, Neil punched her on the left side of her face and pushed her against a ladder.
“Court case number 2131-PN03342: In this document JN added when (Neil) punched her it caused, ‘2 back molars to fracture and one crumbled.’ JN had to have emergency extractions at the dentist. JN reported (Neil) pointed the handgun to the head of (name redacted) sleeping 3-year-old.”
‘The victim … began to vomit from the stress that it caused to him’
- Date of assault: 3/2/2022
- Springfield Police Department
“(Candice) started punching RS multiple times in the face with a closed fist with both of her hands.
“RS said (Candice) then grabbed hold of him and bit his face. RS said he fell backward onto his back and (Candice) fell onto his stomach.
“RS told me (Candice) placed both of her hands around his neck pushing him down into the floor. He could not recall how long this occurred. RS tried to slide away from under (Candice) by shifting himself across the floor on his left abdomen. This position exposed RS’s right upper back (lateral muscle) to (Candice). RS said (Candice) then bit him on his back as he slid away and ran upstairs.
“I asked her why RS had purplish bruising under his eye with a red circle mark consistent with a bite. She told me she didn’t want to answer that question. I asked her about the bite mark on his back, but she began to cuss at me.
“The victim appeared to have suffered trauma from the incident as he began to vomit from the stress that it caused to him.”
‘I could’ve killed you. Are you done crying now?’
- Date of assault: 3/10/2022
- Springfield Police Department
“JC explained she just began a romantic relationship with (Douglas) eight or nine days ago and moved with him to the above-described area. JC said (Douglas) had a habit of taking her cell phone and treated it like it was his without asking her permission.
“JC advised (Douglas) took her phone this morning, and when she asked for it back an argument ensued.
“JC said she could not remember what all was said between her and (Douglas), but he suddenly ‘slammed’ her to the ground.
“JC said she did not lose consciousness but was almost to that point, and JC yelled to (Douglas) that she could not breathe several times.
“JC said (Douglas) still had his hands around her throat — but not squeezing — when he stated, ‘I could’ve killed you. Are you done crying now?’”
About Living in Fear
This special investigative report explores the far-reaching and insidious nature of domestic abuse in our community. Living in Fear will be presented in four parts over the next two months:
- Part I: Black eye for Greene County, published May 8-11, looks at the depth and breadth of the problem here.
- Part II: Obstacles to leaving, to be published in late May, will examine the dynamics and complications facing victims looking to leave abusive relationships.
- Part III: Systemic issues, to be published in early June, puts a focus on the criminal justice system and potential shortcomings.
- Part IV: Searching for solutions, to be published in late June, taps local, regional and national experts in search of ways to improve the system and reduce domestic violence.