John Howard Batts, Jr., a 21-year-old Lunenburg man of 58 Trailer Park Road, Victoria, was convicted recently in Lunenburg Circuit Court on a third offense of Assault and Battery of a Family Member. The basic charge is normally a misdemeanor, but because it was a third offense, it is elevated by statute to a Class 6 Felony.
According to Commonwealth’s Attorney Robert Clement, Batts was previously convicted for offenses in February, 2011 involving another woman as the victim and in July, 2011 involving the same victim as his current charge, the mother of his child.
Batts was sentenced to five years in prison with all suspended except time served awaiting his preliminary hearing (19 days), subject to conditions of good behavior and warrantless searches for five years.
Clement said the defendant would normally have been required to serve more time in jail, however, the victim initially told police at the scene that Batts had hit her, but after his arrest, she went to the Sheriff’s Office before they had even finished processing him, and said she had lied, and that they had just bumped heads which had caused her to have a swollen lip and slight bleeding from her nose. Fortunately, Clement said, there was a relative of Batts present at the incident who gave a statement that Batts was verbally abusing the victim when she stepped in-between them to stop him. He then pushed her into the victim, causing the back of her head to hit the victim in the face. Clement said the recognized legal principle of transferred intent was sufficient to support a finding of guilt.
category: WFLO News