The tragedy of domestic violence played out in court once again this week in the tragic and infuriating case of Jacob Morales.
Some while back, Morales was convicted of “misdemeanor” domestic violence. He no doubt expressed remorse, said he would never do it again and agreed to go to anger management classes. Turns out, he was already on probation for some other, unspecified offense.
Unaccountably, the woman he abused took him back.
Not surprisingly, they got into an argument at the store. They went home. She lay her 12-week-old baby down in the crib and went outside to calm herself and call her mother.
She went back inside 20 minutes later and found the baby screaming and choking, with a skull fracture.
Morales fled the scene. A detective used text messages to convince him to turn himself in — and he ultimately admitted battering his child.
Judge Robert Duber this week sentenced him to 3.5 years in prison.
The case perfectly illustrates the impossible decisions forced on the legal system by this terrible scourge — by far the most common violent crime in Payson or any other community. We cannot immediately lock up every person who yields to anger and fear and violence in a relationship. We did intervene that first time — even sent Morales off to anger management class. It did no good. That innocent child paid the awful price.
But one lesson does emerge from this sad and tattered case.
Ladies: Don’t go back.
Don’t go back.
Don’t accept violence even one time.
And if you misjudge a man, if he turns his sick, weak rage on you — get out. Right now.
And don’t go back.