EATON — A man was tried and convicted on charges of domestic violence and public indecency in Preble County Common Pleas Court Monday, Sept. 16. Judge Stephen R. Bruns presided.
Darryl N. King, 32, of Eaton, also faced charges of criminal damaging or endangering. King was acquitted of those charges. His previous record includes two previous convictions for domestic violence, as well as charges of violating a protection order, possession of heroin, and illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for the manufacture of drugs.
According to Preble County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Gractia Manning, King assaulted his live-in girlfriend in their home in March of this year, then chased her outside while carrying a baseball bat. The alleged victim then ran into a nearby department store. A store employee testified that he saw a naked man carrying something that might have been been a baseball bat run into a residence across the street, though he was unable to positively identify the man as King. The employee then contacted the police.
A police officer who responded to the call testified that he observed bruises on the alleged victim’s neck. A second officer claimed that, though the victim had previously been served with a subpoena ordering her to appear in court, police were unable to locate her the day of the trial. The alleged victim failed to appear and did not testify.
During closing arguments, Manning stressed to the jurors that they had all they needed to return a guilty verdict.
“The bottom line is, the defendant definitely caused physical harm to his girlfriend,” Manning said. “A swing and a miss counts. He was chasing her across the street with a baseball bat.”
Manning also highlighted calls between the two made while the defendant was incarcerated in the Preble County Jail.
“The first thing he says is ‘I’m sorry,’” Manning said. “What’s he apologizing for if he didn’t do anything?”
Manning also claimed the calls showed King attempting to encourage the victim to commit perjury, as well as to hide at the defendant’s mother’s house the day of the trial to avoid being tracked down by police.
Defense attorney Kirsten Knight took issue with the prosecution’s interpretation of the case.
“Let’s talk about what you don’t have,” Knight told the jury. “You don’t have the victim, and you don’t have anyone else who actually saw the assault take place.” Knight claimed the alleged victim had reconciled with the defendant, and told police she had injured herself while attempting to climb out a window.
Manning challenged this, however.
“If we just dropped it every time a victim got back together with her abuser, we’d bring very few of these cases to trial,” Manning said.
Manning also took issue with the lack of a positive I.D.
“Who else was running around naked with a baseball bat that day at 8:15 in the morning?” she asked.
The jury found King guilty of domestic violence and public indecency after deliberating for approximately 90 minutes. King pleaded guilty to additional charges of aggravated possession of drugs and assault on Wednesday. His next court appearance is a sentencing hearing, to be held Oct. 7.