DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - A small group of protestors marched around downtown Decatur Tuesday morning to show their support for a victim of domestic violence.
According to a DeKalb County Police Department report, Willene James called officers last December to report that her husband, Jerome Davis, hit and choked her during an argument.
October 16 Davis pleaded guilty to two counts of family violence battery and was sentenced to 24 months of probation.
James, however, felt that the Solicitor General's Office should have used a recently passed state law, HB 911, to seek stiffer penalties. Under the law, strangulation is classified as aggravated assault, which carries a minimum sentence of one to 20 years in jail for a conviction. The penalty climbs to three to 20 years if the parties involved are legally married.
"It is a shameful, heartfelt experience that I can't even explain. Not only did the prosecuting solicitor's office disappoint me, they disappointed the State of Georgia by not enforcing the law," said James.
James said the Solicitor General's Office, which handles misdemeanor cases, should have turned her case over the DeKalb County District Attorney's Office, which prosecutes more serious crimes.
"There is a process for determining whether or not charges should be upgraded and referred to the District Attorney’s office for review. That process was undertaken in this case. This process includes having our team of investigators, attorneys and advocates review the matter and investigate the issues," the Solicitor General's Office said in a statement to FOX 5 News. "We also met with the victim in this case on numerous occasions. We are always disappointed when our legal analysis about the best resolution of a case and the victim’s desired outcome conflict. We stand willing to continue the conversation and continue our fight for justice for all in our community."