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Large case load prompts hiring of additional domestic violence prosecutor

5 months 4 weeks 2 days ago June 07, 2016 Jun 7, 2016 Tuesday, June 07 2016 June 07, 2016 11:31 PM in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - A woman allegedly murdered by her husband Monday is shining a light on the problem with domestic violence in the area.

In Baton Rouge over the past 12 hours, seven people were arrested for domestic violence. The problem is so large, the East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney's Office hired another domestic violence prosecutor just last month to handle the large case load.

Typically, 3,000 cases come through the EBR DA's Office each year according to Melanie Fields, a domestic violence prosecutor.

"There are certainly a lot of domestic violence cases," Fields said. "Each one equally important, but not every victim comes forward."

The first cries for help on Castle Hill Drive came last year. That's when arrest reports say Nicole Jones claimed her husband wouldn't let her leave the house and threatened to kill her. Monday, authorities said he made good on that threat. Deputies say when Germany called 911, and he confessed to strangling his wife. Tonight, we've learned strangulation cases get top priority at the DA's Office.

"It only takes seven seconds to impede blood or air for someone to lose consciousness, 11 pounds of pressure to do that and four minutes to cause death," Fields said.

In Germany's case back in August, he had no prior records. Had he tried to strangle his wife back then, she may have been eligible for more help, but there were no signs of physical harm.

"Signs of strangulation for us are a real risk that there's further harm for this victim," Fields said. "That is an indicator we need to act even if it is the first offense."

According to prosecutors the problem runs parish wide and affects those from all walks of life. If you or anyone you know needs help you can contact the IRIS Domestic Violence Center at 225-389-3001 or 1-800-541-9706. The District Attorney's Office said you can also call them 225-389-4705 or the EBR Sheriff's Office for help at 225-389-5000.

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