Police: Athens woman coughed up blood after being beaten and strangled in domestic violence incident


Nicholas Dante Watkins

By Joe Johnson

An Athens man was arrested Sunday for an alleged domestic violence incident more than four months ago at the Broadacres Homes housing complex on West Broad Street.

In that alleged incident, the 23-year-old victim was strangled, punched numerous times, threatened with her life and coughed up blood after being assaulted, according to an Athens-Clarke County police report.

The alleged incident occurred early the morning of Dec. 2.

According to the report, officers responded to a 6 a.m. 911 call from the victim’s cousin that 30-year-old Nicholas Dante Watkins had pulled a knife on the victim and threatened to kill her.

When officers arrived, Watkins had already left the scene but they saw a trail of blood in the victim’s apartment that went down a hallway to a bathroom, according to the report. They also noted some blood on the hallway wall.

When interviewed, the victim told officers that while they were drinking, Watkins began hollering about text messages on the victim’s phone and accused her of cheating on him, according to the report.

After punching the victim several times in the face, Watkins allegedly took her to the ground and strangled her to the point she was about to lose consciousness and thought she was going to die, according to the police report.

The report noted that the blood trail was from the victim coughing up blood as she made her way down the hallway to the bathroom.

After the fighting stopped and the victim took Watkins' belongings outside and told him to leave, the man allegedly threatened to kill her while having a knife in his pocket, causing the victim to lock herself in the bathroom, according to the report.

When Watkins later returned to gather his belongings, another argument erupted in which he allegedly hit her in the face again and damaged her TV by kicking it. He also allegedly used the knife to stab a microwave, according to the police report.

The victim said she went outside and was sitting in a friend’s car as she waited for Watkins to finish collecting his belongings, and that Davenport opened the car door where she was sitting, grabbed her by the shirt and began hitting her face again, according to the report.

An officer observed injuries to the vivtim's face and blood spots in the whites of her eyes -- a telltale sign of strangulation, according to the report, which noted that Watkins and the victim had lived together off and on for three years.

After further investigation, police obtained warrants charging Watkins with aggravated assault, family violence battery and criminal trespass/damage to property, according to the report.

When arrested early Sunday morning, Watkins was booked into the Clarke Cunty Jail for the additional offenses of theft by receiving stolen property, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and three counts each of possession of cocaine and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, according to the Clarke County Sheriff’s Office.

As of Tuesday morning, Watkins continued to be held without bail at the county jail.

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.

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