How to build a case against an abuser

Crime News

SafeHomes of Augusta 24 HR Crisis Hotline – 706.736.2499 /1.800.799.SAFE

Augusta, GA (WJBF)– Deputies are looking for Richard Timmons, JR. They say he shot and killed his wife, Jaz-Na Timmons, outside the Georgia War Veterans Nursing Home.

Police records and court documents show the couple had a history with reports of domestic violence. We talked to SafeHomes of Augusta who helps victims of domestic abuse. They shared with us the steps you can take if you know someone in an abusive relationship. They also stressed the importance of gathering evidence if you yourself are in a potentially dangerous situation.

“It helps us build a case in the event there is a crime that happens,” says Staff Sgt. Jamey Moss.

Moss is on the board at SafeHomes of Augusta and is also a Staff Sergeant with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.

“We need to have documentation whether that be from witness testimony, whether that be pictures of injuries, text messages. Any of those things will help us build a case,” Staff Sgt. Moss explains.

Even if you are a coworker and barely know the person—jotting down notes of odd behavior can help. Moss says, having tangible evidence from a third party avoids a “he said-she said” situation in a court room.

“For us at SafeHomes, you can always just call and ask questions,” says Staff Sgt. Moss. “You don’t have to be somebody’s that’s in immediate danger or a victim. You can be a family member. You can be a friend and say—‘hey, look, I’ve got somebody that’s going through this. What do I do? How can I help them?’”

SafeHomes Executive Director Aimee Hall acknowledges that yes, a protective order is essentially just a piece of paper. It will not stop the most dangerous forms of aggression—like a bullet. However, she says for those of you in an abusive situation, applying for one is crucial.

“It’s a piece of paper that holds some weight so if that temporary protection order is being broken, then that’s an automatic arrest.” Hall continues, “it also protects the kids as well.”

However, if you are not ready to go to the police, or go to the court, at the very least call an organization like SafeHomes.

“There is the utmost concern for confidentiality over here,” Staff Sgt. Moss explains. “It’s not about us going to the cops and I know I’m saying that, I’m a police officer, but if there is somebody’s that’s worried about somebody judging them or somebody else saying something or finding out—this is where they need to come.”

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