Courtroom outburst precedes sentence in domestic violence case - Montgomery Alabama news.

Courtroom outburst precedes sentence in domestic violence case

Valerie Neuble Valerie Neuble
Doyale Blacksmith Doyale Blacksmith

At a time when Tennessee ranks among the worst states for domestic violence against women, one case is giving survivors hope for justice.

Doyale Blacksmith allegedly stripped Valerie Neuble naked, beat her with a belt and then checked her private parts with his hand to see if she had been cheating on him.

He then drove her around and beat her some more.

An arrest for domestic violence usually ends with a year spent in jail. But assistant district attorney Hugh Ammerman prosecuted Blacksmith for aggravated rape, kidnapping and assault.

The jury said 'guilty, guilty, guilty,' and Judge Monte Watkins sentenced Blacksmith to 35 years in prison.

Neuble couldn't believe it.

"It's like I've got a voice now. Somebody is listening to me. I'm just not a nobody, you know," she said.

At his sentencing, Blacksmith was given the opportunity to testify and apologize, perhaps drawing leniency from the judge.

"I can't say sorry for whooping her. I can't say that I am," Blacksmith said.

Even to help his own cause, he couldn't say it. And then he started getting angry.

"I did whoop her with that belt," Blacksmith said. "She deserved that."

Now, he will spend 35 years in prison because of a brave victim and a prosecutor who believed in her.

"If I did anything, I took the time to listen to Ms. Neuble," Ammerman said.

Blacksmith left the courtroom in chains as Neuble left her personal prison forever.

She went from being embarrassed about what happened to her to wanting to go public with her story.

"I am a phenomenal woman," Neuble said.

Blacksmith had five previous convictions, including domestic violence, aggravated robbery, assault and armed robbery.

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