SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — A Shreveport man with a long history of domestic violence will now have to spend a decade behind bars.
On Monday 32-year-old Jevorish Dewayne Dennis was sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to a fourth-offense domestic battery charge in Caddo District Court.
On May 25, 2020, Shreveport Police responded to a local motel in reference to a 911 hangup call and found a woman distraught and covered in mud. She reported that Dennis, her husband of two years, had hit her with a stick and punched her in the jaw. She added that Dennis had also thrown her to the ground and strangled her. Abrasions around her neck were consistent with a strangulation. She told officers Dennis attacked her because she would not allow him to use her vehicle.
Dennis has several prior convictions for misdemeanor domestic battery, mostly in Shreveport City Court. In 2018, Dennis was convicted of his first felony domestic abuse charge, Domestic Abuse Battery 3rd offense; he received the maximum five-year sentence in that case. Some of those previous convictions involved the same victim as in the present case.
Under Louisiana law, the punishment for domestic violence increases when the offender is convicted multiple times. This enables district attorneys to file more serious charges and provides judges with the authority to hand down more severe punishments.
This case was considered serious, not only because of Dennis’ prior convictions, but also because he strangled his victim. According to the Training Institute on Strangulation Prevention, researchers and law enforcement professionals have determined that nonfatal strangulation is a leading indicator of escalating violence in a relationship and an important risk factor for homicide in women. Abusers who strangle their victims are more likely to kill them in later attacks.
A complication in this case was the victim did not want to testify against her abuser and wanted to dismiss the charges, a common scenario in many family violence cases. The state proceeded anyway because often, the victim’s lack of cooperation is due to the abuser’s influence and manipulation.
Caddo Parish District Attorney James E. Stewart Sr. said, “Domestic violence crimes are a high priority in our office because we know that those victims are especially vulnerable. Our goal is to hold abusers accountable and to connect victims with the services that help them to regain control of their lives.”
In addition to the 10-year hard labor sentence, Dennis was issued a permanent protective order effective even after his release from prison, for the victim that will remain in place even after Dennis’ release from prison.