How to support victims of domestic abuse
A Lexington man who is accused of trying to strangle his girlfriend with a belt in a brutal attack was indicted this week on multiple charges.
Devon Michael Morris, 21, is facing charges of attempted murder, kidnapping an adult, intimidating a participant in a legal process and third-degree terroristic threatening, according to his indictment.
He is accused of restraining his girlfriend for hours, punching her on the face and body and strangling her, according to court records.
Morris was initially charged with assault in the case and his bond was set at $2,500, according to court records. He posted that bond and was released, but the investigating detective later brought charges of unlawful imprisonment and intimidating a participant in the legal process. Bond for those charges was set at $2,500, which was also posted, according to court records.
Prosecutors filed a motion Tuesday, asking that Morris’ bond be increased in light of the new charges in the indictment. The prosecutors wrote that there was an inherent danger to the victim if Morris remained out of custody.
The motion outlined the alleged attack, saying that at one point Morris used his hands to cover the woman’s mouth and nose to prevent her from breathing as she tried to claw herself free. After that, he removed his belt and strangled the woman with it, causing her to lose consciousness at least once, the prosecutors wrote.
The woman told investigators that during the assault, Morris said: “Die, (b****)! You’re going to die,” and “why won’t you die!?”
The womanlater said that she would have called police during the attack, but Morris had taken her phone, according to court records. She also said that she tried to leave, but that Morris pushed her back to the ground.
At some point during the assault, the woman slowed her breathing in hopes that Morris would think she was dead, according to court records.
Morris used the woman’s phone to take pictures of her unconscious with the belt around her neck, according to Tuesday’s motion.
After the alleged assault, police arrived at the victim’s apartment and found Morris, who said he had “messed up” and beaten his girlfriend “pretty bad” and “put her to sleep,” according to court records. Officers found the woman suffering from multiple visible injuries. She was taken to a hospital.
Morris’ mother was the one who called 9-1-1, saying she was concerned about him and his girlfriend, according to court records.
An emergency protective order was filed against Morris, but prosecutors wrote in Tuesday’s motion that he made recorded phone calls to his mother, telling her to call the victim and tell her to “drop the EPO.”
After Morris’ indictment, $18,500 was added to his bond, according to court records. The additional bond has not been paid.
Morris is scheduled to be arraigned in Fayette County Circuit Court on June 28, according to court records.