A Texas man accused by prosecutors of severely beating his pregnant girlfriend and consequently causing the death of their unborn baby will not serve time in jail after he accepted a plea deal with the Travis County district attorney’s office on Monday.
According to an arrest warrant, Johnny Charles Ebbs V assaulted his pregnant girlfriend, LaShonda Lemons, during a verbal altercation in Austin in 2019.
During the incident, Ebbs reportedly punched Lemons’ stomach and yelled, “F*** you and this baby! You aren’t going anywhere!”
Lemons was hospitalized and told three days later that her baby was deceased. A doctor stated that the unborn child died from “placenta abruption,” which occurs when the placenta detaches from the wall of the uterus. This pregnancy complication can be caused by blunt-force trauma.
During her victim impact statement on Monday, Lemons addressed Ebbs and stated, “You were the first person to hold me at gunpoint. The first person to strangle me.”
Ebbs accepted a plea deal with eight years of deferred adjudication on a third-degree continuous family violence assault charge, meaning that he was not found guilty at the time of sentencing.
As a part of the plea deal, Ebbs is required to wear a GPS monitor for six months, and assuming he does not violate the terms of his probation, his offense will be dismissed.
According to Lemons’ attorney, Kelsey McKay, Ebbs’ bond and protective order require him to forfeit his firearms, but she says that has not happened.
“We have firearm surrender laws. We have domestic violence laws. But if there’s not enforcement and implementation of those laws, they’re relatively useless,” McKay said.
On Monday, the Travis County district attorney’s office required Ebbs to swear he has no firearms and will not reside in a home with guns.
When asked about the sentencing, the district attorney’s office told KXAN, “Additional evidence gathered through the course of the investigation made clear that the facts do not support the initial allegation.”
Domestic abuse advocate Coni Huntsman Stogner told the news outlet that she does not believe justice was served for Lemons and worries for her safety.
“We are very concerned that the sentencing does not result in safety for the survivor and the community,” Stogner said.