COVINGTON—A St. Tammany Parish jury convicted Maurice Jackson, 28, of second-degree battery Thursday (June 18) for severely beating his 35-year-old wife, who had tried to stop the prosecution and testified on his behalf during the trial. Jackson, of Slidell, faces up to five years in prison.
Assistant District Attorney William Macke pleaded with the jury in his closing argument to overlook the wife’s testimony and see her as a domestic violence victim. “This is an intervention,” he said. “(The victim) may not realize she’s a victim. She may not feel like she’s a victim. This is your chance to save her from herself.”
The incident came to the attention of the Slidell Police Department about 5:30 a.m. March 9, 2014, when officers received an anonymous complaint about a loud fight in a Slidell motel room. A woman was heard screaming: “Get off of me” and “Stop hitting me.”
When officers responded, a woman with serious facial injuries answered the door and told them that her husband had beaten her. By then, he had fled. The woman was transported to a local hospital, where doctors found that she had sustained facial fractures in the areas around her eyes and nose. A warrant was issued for Jackson’s arrest, and about a month later at about 3:30 a.m. investigators tracked down his car at another Slidell motel. Again, the wife answered the door, but this time she told police officers that Jackson was not there. Officers searched the room anyway and found Jackson hiding in a bathroom.
The wife later showed up at the District Attorney’s Office and asked to drop the charges, but District Attorney Warren Montgomery proceeded with the charges anyway. When the victim was called to testify Wednesday during the trial, she said that she had been drinking and was mistaken when she first told officers that Jackson had beaten her. She testified that she actually had been beaten by three women at a nightclub. The jury deliberated about an hour before returning the guilty verdict.
Slidell police officer Thomas McNulty investigated the case. Jackson’s sentencing is set for Aug. 14. He also faces a separate charge of domestic abuse battery by strangulation for a separate incident involving his wife on April 25.