Repeat domestic violence offender arrested again

UPDATE:

Donald Green pleaded guilty to domestic battery on July 24, 2017. He was sentenced to a year in jail, all of which was suspended.

ORIGINAL STORY:

MUNCIE, Ind.- A Muncie man who police say has a violent criminal past is in jail again, and this time they’re hoping a new way of prosecuting domestic violence cases will keep him locked away. Authorities say Donald Green has been charged repeatedly with battery and other violent type charges, but many of those charges have been dismissed because his alleged victims didn’t want to testify.

In fact, the Delaware County Prosecutor was recently quoted as saying Green is the “poster child” for the county’s new domestic violence court.

Earlier this week, Green was arrested again after authorities say he beat and strangled his wife inside a house on West Howard street in Muncie. 

According to court documents he became enraged when his wife didn’t bring him home a sandwich from the gas station, and got even more violent when he learned she’d thrown away his syringes earlier in the day.

Chief Deputy Prosecutor Zach Craig said up until late last year, cases like this were a challenge to prosecute because victims often disappeared or got scared.

“Either they end up back with their abuser or cases take so long to progress that they just fall off the map and we lose contact with them,” said Craig.

In fact, about 50 percent of domestic violence cases had to be dismissed because of that. Craig says that was often why charges against Green didn’t stick, putting him back on the streets. 

But in November of 2016, Delaware County launched its new domestic violence court and authorities say it’s already making a difference.

“So far, this year from January to May…out of 122 filings, [we’ve only] had to dismiss three cases,” said Craig.

That’s because they’re now putting less of the investigative responsibility on the victims.

“They’re investigating it in a way that we don’t necessarily have to have the victims,” said Craig, “we’re doing an evidence-based investigation to where if we lose contact with the victims we can still proceed.”

He said the process is also faster now, with most cases taking about 90 days to complete.​