Violence against women all too common -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Violence against women all too common

By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –   A man accused of beating his ex-girlfriend to death in an Albany motel room had a court appearance Thursday. Monty Simpson is charged with killing Beverly Williams Monday night. This is one of the latest in a rising number of domestic violence cases.

Just Wednesday night, an Albany man was found guilty of severely beating his girlfriend. In that case, the badly beaten woman changed her story in court to protect the man who beat her, and that compounds the problem of domestic violence.

Prosecutors say Lewis broke his girlfriend's ribs while trying to rape her in June. Despite the victim's recanting her initial report, the jury took only one hour to find Lewis guilty.

South Georgia battered women shelter officials and prosecutors call the conviction of Lewis "a rare victory."

When Alphonzo Lewis was convicted of aggravated battery, it wasn't the first time a jury found him guilty of domestic violence. The District Attorney thanked the jury for understanding that he should not be allowed another chance, even if the victim was willing to forgive. 

 "The people do not want victims to be abused. And when they return verdicts like this that show that they will see the facts. And see that the offender is held responsible," Dougherty District Attorney Greg Edwards said.

South Georgia's battered women's shelter director Silke Deeley says she sees cases like this all the time, feeling helpless, protecting the only source of support she has.  "So we're not surprised when women recant. Not surprised when women go back, because that's the mentality. That's the situation they are in," Deeley said.

Deeley said she had been talking with Beverly Williams since June. She and her boyfriend Monty Simpson had a long history of domestic violence, and even though she took a protective order against him, still stayed.

Williams was found beaten to death in an Albany motel Monday night. Simpson is charged with her murder. Deeley is looking over her case.  "What could we have done differently. Did we miss something? Because if we don't do that, we are going to see this all the time."

Domestic violence is such a problem in Dougherty County that the D. A. office has one Prosecutor that specializes in only those cases, and she had 900 cases in her workfile at one point.

Deeley says education by the community is needed, to understand that women victims often feel trapped in violent relationships because of children or money, and will protect abusers because they have nothing else.

D.A. Edwards says it's up to law enforcement and jurors to break this cycle of violence. Lewis will be sentenced at a later date, he could face more than 40 years behind bars.

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