Darron Jerome Jones, 38, threatened his wife with an illegal, sawed-off shotgun at their Mableton apartment last October, Reynolds’ spokesperson Kim Isaza said. According to the arrest warrant, he was indicted on charges of aggravated assault, rape and firearms-possession charges.
On Friday, Cobb Superior Court Judge S. Lark Ingram sentenced Jones to 20 years, with 10 years to serve in custody and the rest on probation.
“He’s had prior felonies for drugs, and he’s been to prison for family violence,” Figueroa said.
Jones was previously arrested and put on probation for nine months in October 2012 and for 22 months in June 2013, according to the Cobb County Magistrate Court.
According to Isaza, Jones’ wife said her husband had been violent with her for at least a year, and that, although she was ill with kidney disease and vomiting, he repeatedly made her have sex with him.
“Rape is rape,” said Sherwin Figueroa, the assistant district attorney prosecuting the case. Law enforcement uses the phrase “marital rape” only as a public awareness tool and that no legal distinction exists between rape inside or outside of marriage, Figueroa said.
“We say ‘marital rape’ to educate the public,” Figueroa said, adding that marriage is not an excuse to exercise power of control over another person. “Being married isn’t a defense (to rape).”
The DA’s office believes the conviction is a success because Jones has been sentenced to the maximum for aggravated assault, Figueroa said.
“This defendant was facing a life sentence on the rape charge, and that is what made him accept responsibility for his actions and plead guilty to aggravated assault,” Figueroa said “We put specific terms on his probation and he’ll be monitored when he’s released.”
Figueroa also said the case shows the state is resolved to prosecuting domestic crime cases.
“This case is an example of how seriously we take domestic violence crimes and the various power and control tactics — physical, mental or sexual — abusers impose on their victims.”