MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The Montgomery County District Attorney's Office is using a recent domestic violence case to shed light on the dangerous culture that surrounds this crime and the emotional impact it has on victims.
Alabama State University Athletic Adviser Tremayne Moorer was sentenced to prison Tuesday after he pleaded guilty to domestic violence strangulation and domestic violence third degree.
Court documents paint a horrific picture, stating he threatened to kill his wife, wrote her name on a bullet, put a gun to her head, and beat her among other actions. Moorer's plea agreement d ropped two Class B Felony counts, including second degree kidnapping and second degree domestic violence.
"He admitted, and he pled guilty to domestic violence strangulation and domestic violence," said Chief Deputy District Attorney Lloria James. "This crime shouldn't just be a concern for just our office but all the citizens of Montgomery County."
James is grateful Judge Johnny Hardwick "put down the hammer" in this case and sentenced Moorer to five years in prison and 10 years probation. But she couldn't look past those who served as character witnesses for Moorer and testified at his sentencing, including two coaches from Alabama State University.
"Frankly, I'm shocked, especially in this day and age, that people aren't more concerned about domestic violence and family violence, as if it's not a big deal," James said. "I told someone today feel like I am in the 1700s when it was legal to abuse your wife and children. I'm here to tell you those days are over with."
James acknowledges this is one of the reasons, among many, victims of domestic violence don't come forward. Not only are they concerned about their safety but also that anyone will believe their story.
"We want them to know that we have professionals who you can tell, and they will protect you," James explained. "We don't want victims to be discouraged of the support he received yesterday."
James specifically takes issue with those who defend domestic violence perpetrators by saying they are not violent in nature, downplaying the violent crime.
"I encourage people who want to stand up for this behavior to consider these crimes happen in the dark," James said. "We've had people who have killed their spouse who appear at work and appear at church like good upstanding people. The Department of Corrections is full of people who lost their temper one time. They aren't violent people necessarily, but they lost their temper one time."
James commended the victim in this case for going through the proper channels, getting a protection order and allowing the crime to be prosecuted.
"She can sleep well tonight." James said. "She doesn't' have to be afraid that he's waiting for her. At least for five years we give her a little peace, and that we are happy about."
Alabama State University has not responded to our requests for more information on Moorer's employment status. We also don't know if the university approved the coaches to testify in his sentencing. ASU also hasn't told us whether employees who are convicted of a felony can retain their jobs on campus.
James encourages anyone who is in a domestic violence relationship to contact the One Place Family Justice Center. One Place has a host of resources and professionals to walk victims through their options confidentially and place them in safety if their lives are in danger. You can contact the One Place Family Justice Center at 334- 262-7378, or by their 24-hour crisis line at 1-800-650-6522.
More information can be found on the One Place Family Justice Center website.