By Joe Johnson
Western Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Eric Norris this week handed an Athens man a 10-year sentence for assaulting his ex-girlfriend by smashing her face with a brick.
Christopher Bernard Thomas Jr., 25, of Sarsen Circle assaulted the 25-year-old victim on June 15 after Thomas’ sister possibly set her up, according to an Athens-Clarke County police report.
The victim, who thought she had remained amicable with Thomas’ family members, was reportedly driving with them to fish at Oconee Lake, when Thomas’ sister received a phone call and told the victim that plans had changed to go fishing at a lake in Athens instead.
At the lake off Old Lexington Road, while the victim was relieving herself in some bushes, Thomas appeared with a rock in his hand and struck her with it, according to the report.
As the victim faded in and out of consciousness, she heard people saying, “You don’t have to do it this way, put the gun away, according to the report, which indicated that the victim said that Thomas said previously threatened her with a gun during their violent relationship in which they had children together.
At the time of the assault, Thomas was on felony probation in connection with several other cases of domestic violence, the report noted.
Thomas was arrested for the lake assault July 22 on an aggravated assault warrant.
A formal accusation on that charge was filed by the DA’s office on Tuesday, and the following day Thomas entered into a plea bargain in which he pleaded guilty in return for a 10-year sentence, the first three years of which to be served in prison, according to Clarke County Superior Court records.
Anyone who is in an abusive relationship can seek advice and services by calling Project Safe’s 24-hour hotline at (706) 543-3331, or by visiting http://www.project-safe.org.