Sheriff on domestic violence: 'Shoot 'em in the backyard before he gets in your house'
GEISMAR, LA (WAFB) - Ascension Parish Sheriff Jeff Wiley said the domestic murder case in Geismar this week case shows the limits of a system meant to protect victims.
While Sheriff Wiley said it is important to fully utilize the legal system, he said it can't protect victims 24/7. He suggested an additional option.
"Get your concealed weapons permit. Ladies, learn how to safely handle a weapon, learn how to safely store a weapon, and when you're in a situation like this shoot him in your back yard before he gets in your house. Drop him," said Wiley.
The Sheriff admitted the advice may sound radical, but he said extreme violence requires extraordinary efforts for protection.
"Take the extremes necessary to live a life where you don't have to worry about your kids and your life," said Wiley.
Ascension Parish District Attorney Ricky Babin released a statement Tuesday saying:
"The State of Louisiana has a statute in place for justifiable homicide, R.S. 14:20. It clearly states that a homicide is justifiable '1) when committed in self defense by one who reasonably believes that he is in imminent danger of losing his life or receiving great bodily harm, and that the killing is necessary to save himself from that danger, and 2) when committed for the purpose of preventing a violent or forcible felony involving danger to life or of great bodily harm by one who reasonably believes that such an offense is about to be committed and that such action is necessary for its prevention. The circumstances must be sufficient to excite the fear of a reasonable person that there would be serious danger to his own life it person if he attempted to prevent the felony without the killing.'"
According to the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office, deputies responded to call of a domestic dispute around 11 p.m. Sunday at a house in the Parks of Dutchtown subdivision in Geismar, LA. Geismar is about 22 miles south of Baton Rouge.
What they found was a shattered back door and the body of 45-year-old Monica Butler Johnson in the back yard. According to Sheriff Jeff Wiley, she had been bludgeoned to death with a baseball bat.
Court documents show Monica was working through the legal system to protect herself from her estranged husband. She even obtained a restraining order against Johnson last month, and it was still active when she was killed. APSO records show a history of domestic violence abuse, including a previous arrest of Johnson on December 31, 2014 where he was charged with domestic abuse strangulation.
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There are also many resources available to victims of domestic violence, to help them get out of an abusive situation and navigate challenges after.
For help, contact one of these organizations:
- Iris Domestic Violence Center, www.stopdv.org, (225) 389-3001 or 1 (800) 541-9706
- Life Family Outreach, (225) 772-2441
- STAR Center, www.brstar.org, (225) 383-RAPE
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