Crime and Safety

Man Accused of Attacking Pregnant Girlfriend and Killing Unborn Child Avoids Jail Time with Plea Deal

A Texas man has cut a plea deal that will see him avoid jail time over an incident in which he was accused of beating his pregnant girlfriend to the point where she lost her child, according to news reports.

Johnny Charles Ebbs V, who was facing a third-degree continuous family violence assault charge, will face eight years of deferred adjudication, according to KXAN-TV.

Under deferred adjudication, sentencing comes without a finding of guilt, according to the website of Texas attorney Will Mitchell.

The charge against a defendant is dismissed at the end of the term of deferred adjudication if the defendant complies with the terms of probation. If not, Ebbs could face the full punishment for the charge against him.

At the time of Ebbs’ arrest in March of 2019, KTXS-TV reported that the victim told police she had been in an “on and off” relationship with Ebbs for about 10 years, and that she was 32 weeks pregnant when the incident took place.

The woman told police Ebbs had accused her of cheating on him, starting an argument that became violent. Ebbs allegedly grabbed her by the hair and threw her to the floor.

At that point, he punched her in the stomach, police said.

“F— you and this baby! You aren’t going anywhere!” Ebbs allegedly said before blocking the door.

The woman said when she went to a window of the second-floor room to potentially use that as an escape route, Ebbs told her, “If you put one leg out of that window, I’ll push you out.”

Is this why people have so little faith in the justice system?

As she tried to get down the stairs, Ebbs again grabbed her hair and slapped her stomach several times with an open hand, KTXS reported.

According to KXAN, the woman said when she went to a hospital three days later, she was told the baby she was carrying had died and that the placenta had become detached.

“You were the first person to hold me at gunpoint. The first person to strangle me,” the woman said Monday in a victim impact statement, according to the news outlet.

Kelsey McKay, the attorney representing the woman, said Ebbs — who will be monitored by a GPS ankle monitor for six months — was not complying with court orders to give up his guns, KXAN reported.

“We have firearm surrender laws. We have domestic violence laws. But if there’s not enforcement and implementation of those laws, they’re relatively useless,” McKay said.

The Travis County District Attorney’s Office required Ebbs to swear in court he does not have guns and would not live in a place where they are stored, according to KXAN.

Domestic abuse victim advocate Coni Huntsman Stogner said she was “very concerned that the sentencing does not result in safety for the survivor and the community.”

In response to the TV station’s questions about the sentence and the gun issue, the district attorney’s office issued a statement saying,  “Additional evidence gathered through the course of the investigation made clear that the facts do not support the initial allegation.”

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