BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A jury found a Baton Rouge man guilty of second degree battery Thursday, but what makes this case interesting is the fact that the victim testified on behalf of the defendant.
In East Baton Rouge Parish District Court, domestic violence cases are rarely publicized. A new initiative by the District Attorney's office is making the news.
Walter Boone walked around District Court with his girlfriend while the jury was deciding his fate. Boone was charged with beating his girlfriend several months ago. As the trial neared, the girlfriend flipped on her story and denied the incident ever happened.
Not deterred, prosecutors moved forward with the case and Boone was found guilty and hauled to jail immediately; in spite of his girlfriend changing her story.
"It's not unusual for victim's to change their mind, change their complete story and we battle this every day. Often times they don't even testify, so we have to treat these like a murder case. In this case the police did a good job, they took statements, we have statements and we were able to confront our victim with her own statements," said District Attorney Hillar Moore.
Chief Prosecutor on this case was Melanie Fields, the District Attorney's domestic violence expert. She says the jury saw right through her guise.
"They knew she was trying to cover. They understood that she looked over at him and realized 'wait a minute, am I doing something wrong? I need to cover for him' and I explained to the jury 'look she didn't do this. He did this when he hurt her'," said Fields.
"We take this seriously and the jury saw through everything. They worked very hard they knew exactly what was going on and by her testimony and the statements she had give so regardless if you change your mind and we have the facts to prove were going to continue to go forward," said Moore.
Before today, not very many people heard about the Walter Boone case, but he does face up to five years in prison. This is his fourth felony conviction.
Hillar Moore says his office will continue to prosecute domestic violence cases like this one, even if the victim recants their testimony at District Court.