A judge in Mississippi has given the maximum prison sentence to a father with a history of physically abusing his children for the murder of his 20-year-old son. Referee Jon Mark Weathers sentenced Joel Chad Graves 20 years in prison for shooting people Joel Scott Graves neck with a handgun in the apartment they shared in 2018, file Reviewed by Law & Crime show.
Chad last week pleaded guilty to manslaughter in his son’s death. According to a report from the local newspaper Laurel Leader-CallChad’s defense attorney reached an agreement with prosecutors at the Forrest County District Attorney’s Office that stipulates that in exchange for his plea, they will charge with second-degree murder.
Before officially announcing Chad’s sentence, Judge Weathers allowed the victim’s mother, Jessica Powell Jaramillo, to solve Chad. She is said to have used the opportunity to start placing blame on her ex-husband, starting by recounting his alleged violent past, which prosecutors likely won’t be allowed to. if the case goes to trial.
“He beat five wives who left him because of domestic violence. He had a long history of abusing his children, and Scott suffered the consequences of that abuse,” Jaramillo said. “He is allowed to abuse people – mainly women, children and vulnerable adults – with absolutely no remorse or consequences. It’s always someone else’s fault – but he’s the common denominator.”
The Hattiesburg USA report that the father and son on August 16, 2018 had an argument in their apartment. At some point, the two are said to have fought over a shotgun, and Chad claims that the gun discharged and hit Scott in the throat. However, the detective of the Hattiesburg Police Erik Herrin reportedly testified at a preliminary hearing that forensic evidence showed Chad shot Scott while the young man was lying on the ground. Detectives also noted that there were handgun bullets planted on the floor near Scott’s body.
In addition to insisting the shooting was an act of self-defense, Chad also said he is suffering from PTSD stemming from his time in the military.
Jaramillo says Chad’s violence against his five children is nothing new; She said four other people completely cut him off from their lives before Scott died.
She said that when Scott was 16, Chad “organized” [Scott’s] head and lunged at him, causing the child’s eyes to almost “poke” out of their sockets. She also claimed he gave the boy methamphetamine at least once.
According to Jaramillo, Chad regularly pulled a gun at the children and whipped them with a pistol. In one case, she claimed he tried “to push his 12-year-old daughter out of a moving vehicle” and also “take his ex-wife and children hostage in Kansas.”
“Chad, you will have to stand at the feet of God, and He will take away all your sins,” she told him while attending the hearing via Zoom. “I truly pray that you are rewarded for every tear, bruise, and broken bone you have caused.”
Known to have referred to Chad as “a violent man” who “loves torturing others” and would “continue to hurt and victimize people” given the opportunity, Jaramillo said she “begged” Scott not to give his father another chance.
“In a way, I guess this is the only way for Scott to escape Chad’s grasp,” she told the court.
Jaramillo harshly criticized the 20-year sentence, which over time could have allowed Chad to be released in just over six years.
“I’m devastated and heartbroken and feel like I’m letting Scott down,” she said. “I fought so hard for justice. But at the end of the day, we have to consider the possibility of conviction. Scott is seen as the aggressor and Chad is said to have acted out of hot passion. The justice system is not for the victim, it’s for the criminal. ”
In addition to the 20-year prison sentence, Judge Weathers also fined Chad $10,000.
[image via Forrest County Sheriff]
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