During a hearing in a judge's chamber near Georgia, an ex-Marine reportedly became infuriated and attacked his estranged wife, after a court ruling granted her child support for their two children as part of a divorce settlement.
The man told the judge that he thought paying child support was unconstitutional. The judge then reminded the man, Paul, that violating a court-ordered support agreement could land him in jail. In response, Paul threatened to take the children to a place where no one could find them and then attacked his wife, Catie. He beat her in front of court officials, and knocked her unconscious. Bailiffs reportedly tasered Paul twice to bring him under control.
The now ex-wife was hospitalized for three days and treated for a fractured jaw, nose and cheekbone - injuries which made her unrecognizable to her children. Paul is behind bars on a $1 million bond and was charged with felony battery charges.
Catie is recovering under her mother's care. However, because of the beating's aftereffects of blurred vision, headaches and imbalance, Catie was forced to suspend the classes she was attending at a nearby college.
Catie and her children moved in with her mother last year after two failed attempts to get a restraining order during what she says was a four-year marriage filled with domestic violence. At that point, she began carrying a taser.
Catie's mother, a nurse, was close at hand on the day of the hearing, and she reportedly treated her daughter's injuries on the scene. Although her daughter is physically healing, she remains emotionally fearful about what would happen if her ex-husband is released from jail.
Source: ABC News, "Enraged Over Child Support, Husband Batters Wife in Front of Judge," Jessica Hopper, 20 April 2011