An Ohio man who pleaded guilty to stalking and stabbing his former girlfriend in front of their child is heading to prison for three decades, the Cobb District Attorney’s Office announced.

Joseph Tarik Davis, 38, shouted at the woman as deputies led him from the courtroom Thursday following his sentencing, according to Kim Isaza, spokeswoman for the DA’s office.

The two had a tumultuous relationship, and in February 2015, Davis broke into his girlfriend’s Kennesaw apartment while she was working and hid inside her closet, Isaza said.

When the woman returned home with their 5-year-old son, Davis lurched out of the closet and strangled her until she passed out, prosecutors said.

When she came to, she saw her son running out of the apartment and tried to run after him, according to Isaza. Davis tackled her in the bushes outside and stabbed her at least seven times in the face and neck while telling her he would kill her, Isaza said. The woman played dead until he stopped.

Kennesaw Police responded to the home and found a bloody knife on the floor inside the woman’s apartment, but Davis had left with his son, according to Isaza.

DeKalb Police were able to find the two the next morning, and the boy described in detail for investigators how his father had stabbed his mom, even drawing a picture of the knife, Isaza said.

During Davis’ sentencing hearing on Thursday, the woman told the court her son still has nightmares about the attack. The scars from her stab wounds were still visible.

“This type of violence, especially against women and children, simply will not be tolerated,” said Assistant DA David Williamson, who prosecuted the case with Assistant DA Drew Healy.

Davis pleaded guilty in 2017 to aggravated assault, aggravated battery, cruelty to children in the first degree, and other charges in this case, but his sentencing was postponed while he underwent a psychiatric evaluation.

Davis was sentenced by Cobb Superior Court Judge Robert Leonard to 30 years in prison and another 10 on probation. He’ll get credit for three years he has already served, Isaza said.


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