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Friday, May 2, 2008

[KY] Terrifying Firefighter Courtney released early

...multiple violations of protective orders, a number of partners and victims, escalating violence, and substance abuse, stalking, strangulation, increasing violence when the victim and perpetrator separate and assault in the presence of others... Domestic violence protective orders were filed against Courtney in 1995, 1998 and 2006 and he was convicted of violating protective orders in 1998, 2006 and 2007, court files said. He was convicted of terroristic threatening in 1995, wanton endangerment in 2002, theft by deception in 2002, June of 2006 and September of 2006 and theft by unlawful taking in 2003...

Ex-firefighter who beat wife gets out early
State-Journal.com, KY
by By John Zambenini
April 29, 2008

A former Franklin County firefighter sentenced to five years for burglary and assaulting his ex-wife has been freed on shock probation.

David Courtney, 40, broke into the home of his ex-wife, Donna Courtney, and waited for her return before strangling her with an electrical cord, tearing her clothes and shoving her head into a toilet, according to Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Dana Todd.

Donna Courtney fled to a nearby fire station, where David Courtney chased her and continued the assault until firefighters pulled him off of her, Todd said.

Courtney pleaded guilty at a Sept. 28, 2007, arraignment and has been incarcerated at the Franklin County Regional Jail since his Dec. 6, 2006 arrest.

Franklin County Fire Chief Gary Watts said at the time of the incident Courtney had not been a county firefighter for "years." The Courtneys were divorced before his arrest in 2006, Todd said.

Courtney's friends and family appeared in court in support of his probation as Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate heard testimony from Todd and Courtney's attorney, Chris Olds.

"This defendant is a serious risk," Todd said in court Friday when Courtney was freed. "He's been offending since 1995."

"You can quit shaking your head if you want your son to see the light of day," Wingate said to Courtney's mother in a tense courtroom. "I know it's not an isolated incident. I've dealt with him for years."

Conditions of Courtney's probation include wearing a SCRAM alcohol monitor for 60 days, 30 days in Alcoholic's Anonymous, domestic violence counseling, random drug screening and no female interaction for six months.

Courtney is also not permitted to patronize bars. "If I hear of you in a bar, in Lexington or Louisville, honky-tonkin', you're going back to jail," Wingate said as he read conditions of Courtney's probation.

Todd told The State Journal certain factors increase the potential for domestic violence.

She said those factors include multiple violations of protective orders, a number of partners and victims, escalating violence, and substance abuse, stalking, strangulation, increasing violence when the victim and perpetrator separate and assault in the presence of others.

"Every single one of these factors is present in this case," Todd said.

"And when you add in the fact that he is surrounded by family who enable his behavior and minimize his conduct, what you see is a well-established pattern of being willing to go to extremes to control his partner."

Shock probation is designed to scare offenders into good behavior by releasing them after a portion of the sentence is complete.

Domestic violence protective orders were filed against Courtney in 1995, 1998 and 2006 and he was convicted of violating protective orders in 1998, 2006 and 2007, court files said.

He was convicted of terroristic threatening in 1995, wanton endangerment in 2002, theft by deception in 2002, June of 2006 and September of 2006 and theft by unlawful taking in 2003, according to the files.

"I don't want to find out the hard way if he's learned his lesson," Todd said.

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