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It was January,and Brittany felt happier than she had in a long time.
After years of working low-paying, menial jobs, she was coming from an interview at a flooring company. Brittany, who is now thirty-two, has four children. Inafter she struggled with substance abuse, the state removed the eldest three, who eventually went to live with her uncle. On the drive back to her house, Brittany got a call from Todd Smith, an old acquaintance who bred pit bulls in Jasper, Tennessee, just over the state line.
She had visited his house the day before, and taken home a reddish-colored puppy with gray-blue eyes, like her own. She named her Athena. Now Todd, who was thirty-eight, asked if she would pick him up from a city park. He said that he was stranded and freezing, and he had no one else to call. Still, the snow was coming down thick and fast. After Chris dropped Brittany and Todd off at her house, they gave the puppy a bath and talked about the meth crisis that had engulfed the Tennessee Valley and derailed their lives.
Brittany had become hooked after losing her grandmother and a baby—to a rare congenital condition—within a year. But now she was clean.
Todd, who had buzzed hair, flushed cheeks, and a disarming smile, said that he still struggled with drugs. He then called her a bitch and head-butted her. Terrified, she ran into her bedroom and shut the door, but Todd broke through it. He threw her on the bed and choked her until she passed out. When she woke up, she was naked and had urinated on herself.
He was raping her, and his hands were tight around her throat. As he raped her, Brittany fought back, sobbing and clawing at him so hard that some of her fingernails ripped off. He twisted her head against the side of the bed until she thought her neck would break.
They fell onto the floor, and again he choked her until she blacked out. Afterward, Todd said that if she told anyone what had happened he would kill her and everyone she loved—her mother, her brother, and her children. She called her mother, Ramona McCallie, who lived nearby. Todd held the phone while Brittany talked, and she tried to subtly convey that something was wrong. But Ramona was exhausted from a new job cleaning houses, and she sent Chris over. At a local gas station, Brittany went in for cigarettes while Chris and Todd sat in the car.
In the fluorescent light, the cashier, Paige Painter, who regularly served Brittany, noticed her tangled hair, ripped nails, and scratched face. She added that, if she was dead in the morning, he was the person who had done it. But she Girls wanting sex Marion Alabama Painter promise not to call the police. Meanwhile, Brittany had texted her mother.
He will kill me if he knows. Chris said that he found Todd in the kitchen. When Todd refused to go, Chris set the gun down on the kitchen island and tried to wrestle him out of the house. Chris was large but soft; Todd was barrel-chested, and he had taken a combination of Xanax, amphetamines, alcohol, and meth. According to Chris, Todd easily got him in a headlock and began choking him. Brittany, who had been in the living room until hearing the shot, said she picked up the gun from the counter. Sobbing and screaming, she told Todd to let her brother go. After he fell, she called Police officers showed up nearly half an hour later, around the time that Todd died.
Brittany detailed how he had beaten and raped her and attacked Chris. A rape kit showed bruises on her neck, breasts, arms, legs, and pelvis, evidence of strangulation, bite marks on her neck and chin, and secretions on her neck and in her vagina. Yet within forty-eight hours she had been charged with murder.
Initially, Chris and Brittany told the police that he had killed Todd. Both of them believed that a woman who had defended herself against violence would never get a fair trial in Jackson County, where Stevenson is situated. Stevenson, Girls wanting sex Marion Alabama a lively railroad hub, is now riddled with vacant storefronts and empty lots. Between andJackson County had more than double the state average of aggravated assaults per capita. Nearly every woman I met in the county had a story of domestic violence.
Often, drugs played a role. On both occasions, she said, authorities made her feel as if she were to blame. What am I supposed to do, let him beat me and end up dead? Fighting back against rapists and abusers is a valid legal defense. But women with persuasive self-defense claims continue to be charged with murder.
Some of the women said that they had not reported the violence because they did not have confidence in law enforcement. She is also the vice-president of Healing Bridge, a nonprofit in LaFayette, Georgia, which offers free counselling to victims of sexual abuse.
Goodman said that the center often takes clients from Jackson County, because resources there are few. She described the violence in the county as an epidemic. Throughout the two-thousands, Alabama was among the states where a woman was most likely to be murdered by a man, according to F.
InAlabama stopped submitting its homicide data to the Bureau, but Georgia and Tennessee, its neighbors, are still in the top ten. Brittany believed that, if she had not shot Todd, he would have killed her and Chris. In March,a grand jury indicted Brittany for murder. She said that she was given legal advice that the prosecution planned to argue that she and Todd had been in a relationship, a claim that she denies.
If convicted, Brittany faced a sentence of twenty years to life. In the past several decades, imprisonment of women in the United States has increased at a rate twice that of men; there are now some two hundred and thirty thousand women incarcerated.
No national data exist on how many women imprisoned for violent crimes claim that they were acting in self-defense, but a study by the Department of Justice, which surveyed sixty female inmates at a maximum-security prison in the Southeast, found that nearly half of them said that they had acted in self-defense or retaliated in the wake of abuse. A review by researchers at the University of South Carolina and at Yale, inwhich drew on dozens of studies, found that when women used violence against male partners it generally occurred after violence was done to them.
So I got a jail record for assault. God, what is the justice in this? Courts frequently do not take evidence of abuse into. Or a judge may not permit the evidence of abuse to be presented. Inin Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Tracey Grissom was sentenced to twenty-five years in prison for murder, for shooting her ex-husband, Hunter. The judge did not allow jurors to hear that, inGirls wanting sex Marion Alabama had been charged with rape and sodomy after allegedly assaulting Grissom. Grissom said that he had knocked her to the ground, choked her with a drumstick, and sexually abused her until she lost consciousness.
She said the attack caused rectal-nerve damage and required surgery, and that she now used a colostomy bag.
Britnea Myers was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to twenty years inafter stabbing her husband, Timothy, outside Mobile. She said that Timothy had been abusive since returning from Iraq, where he had served as a member of the Alabama National Guard. According to Myers, Timothy attempted to strangle her to death while she was holding their son. Her petition was denied. Researchers at nonprofits whom I spoke to were frustrated by a lack of statistics on how many women have been incarcerated for defending themselves.
An analysis of F. Roman examined the of justifiable homicides—a killing deemed to have been carried out without malicious or criminal intent—between andand found that the likelihood of this ruling in cases in which men killed other men was ten per cent greater than when women killed men.
Cases in which men kill women or women kill women are almost never found to be justified.Girls wanting sex Marion Alabama
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