Defendant denies assault accusation

Tue, 10/02/2007 - 2:59pm
By: John Munford

Phone messages to victim played in court

Testimony continued Tuesday in the case of a Tyrone man accused of assaulting his girlfriend in front of their children in September of last year.

Webb testified Tuesday that he did not hurt the woman, whom he has two children with. He also denied that he pinned her to the floor and put his hand over her mouth to keep her quiet.

Webb’s attorney, Walker Chandler, also asked if he’d ever hit the woman previously, and Webb replied: “At times the relationship has been volatile. But I never struck her in an offensive manner.”

Chandler also played back voicemail messages Webb left for the victim at her office after the altercation, including one where he asked her “please don’t let it spread to the office.”

A jury will determine whether or not Webb is guilty of two counts of kidnapping with bodily injury, battery, simple battery, cruelty to children in the first degree and two counts of aggravated stalking.

The victim, Sandy Zimmerman, testified Monday that Webb was screaming at her when the altercation began in their Tyrone home, even as she took their two children to bed and encouraged them to pretend they were asleep. At one point during the incident, Zimmerman said Webb slammed her head against the headboard of the bed.

Zimmerman said Webb also struck their then 6-year-old son several times with an inflatable toy during the incident, accusing him of loving their mother and not him.

Zimmerman testified that at one point she questioned whether she was going to survive the night and she then spoke to her son.

She testified that she told him: “If anything ever happens to mommy, please tell the truth. Please tell what happened.”

Zimmerman said that she once ran outside of the house screaming for help, and Webb caught up to her, covering her mouth to quiet her and dragged her back into the home, where he forced her and the kids to remain overnight in a bedroom.

Chandler told the jury in his opening statement that the evidence will show all the allegations against his client will be tied to something Zimmerman said. But one of Zimmerman’s friends testified that she witnessed Webb shove Zimmerman during a disagreement the couple had at a circus they had taken their kids to at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

That friend, Shelly Goins, told the jury that after the circus she was so worried for Zimmerman’s safety that she slipped her a cell phone secretly in case anything happened.

The prosecution also alleges that Webb violated a temporary protective order by calling Zimmerman at her place of work, The Citizen Newspapers, and also by calling her from jail on another occasion in what was apparently a three-way call patched through to her residence.

The protective order required Webb to refrain from contacting Zimmerman or the children, said Assistant District Attorney Lura Landis. Zimmerman said she was assisted in seeking the protective order by staff from Promise Place, a local organization dedicated to helping victims of domestic violence.

Zimmerman testified that when she first went to make a report to a Tyrone police officer, she was told by that officer that there was nothing police could do for her. Tyrone police later got re-involved in the investigation and that particular officer was reprimanded and forced to apologize to Zimmerman.

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