Gordo Man Sentenced to 10 Years for Domestic Violence
A Pickens County domestic violence case has concluded with one man heading to prison.
According to a Monday evening press release, Jayson Dwight Latham, 45, of Gordo pleaded guilty to a felony domestic violence/strangulation charge in the second degree last week. His trial concluded on Oct. 20 with Pickens County Circuit Court Judge Samuel Junkin sentencing him to 10 years in prison.
“Latham is a violent offender who was brought to justice through the strength and courage of the victim in this case,” 24th Judicial Circuit District Attorney Andy Hamlin said in a press release. "While my heart goes out to her because she had to endure this treatment and abuse, I could not be prouder of the changes she has made in her life and the stand that she took during this investigation and prosecution.”
In December 2018, a woman called 911 saying Latham attacked her when they were traveling in a vehicle together. The woman said Latham had hit her in the face and choked her in the wee hours of the morning as they drove through Pickens County. He also threatened her with more violence if she called the police, leading her to tell the 911 operator that she was not in any danger.
The woman jumped out of the car somewhere along Highway 82. Upon her escape, Latham got out of the car, smashed her phone, then left her on the side of the highway. The victim was able to contact the authorities after hitching a ride to a nearby gas station in Gordo.
The press release added that in the spirit of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the month of October should be reserved for educating the public about how domestic violence spans "all racial, economic, educational and religious backgrounds." The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note that domestic violence cases are reported in more than 10 million homes each year in the United States.
The 24th Judicial Circuit District Attorney's Office and DA Andy Hamlin ended the release with a plea to speak up if you or someone you know might be a victim of domestic violence.
"Domestic violence isn’t always about physical harm," the release concluded. "Yelling, humiliation, manipulation, threats and isolation are all forms of domestic violence. The attorneys and investigators in our office will do everything possible to help victims who reach out to us."
For more information on the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, click here. The phone number for the National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). To chat with someone from the hotline, click here.
The Tuscaloosa Thread will update this story with more information as it becomes available.