If you drive about 240 miles east of Memphis, you will arrive in Wilson County. A Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper who lives there was recently booked into the county jail on a charge of aggravated domestic assault.
According to the arrest warrant, the officer has been placed on paid leave pending the outcome of the case.
A news report stated that the officer’s wife told responding police that her husband had repeatedly struck her in the head with a weapon known as a slapjack (a leather-covered device also known as a sap or blackjack). She said the beating had happened “in front of her young child,” a TV station reported.
She also reportedly told the officers that she had come home and found her husband intoxicated. She said that when she tried to take a bottle of vodka away from him, she was attacked. Investigators noted in their report that she had bumps on her head and scratches and cuts on her neck, ear and head as well.
Tennessee law stipulates that if someone in a domestic dispute intends to cause injury and does so, he or she is guilty of assault. If that person intends to cause a serious injury and does so, he or she is guilty of aggravated assault.
If the trooper were to be found guilty of the charge, the finding would end his police career because one of the punishments states that the offender permanently loses his or her right to carry a firearm.
A domestic assault charge can be a Class A or Class B misdemeanor, with punishments ranging from a maximum of one year in jail (Class A) to a max of up to six months behind bars (Class B). An aggravated assault conviction could result in a sentence of between two years and 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.