Domestic assault and family violence incidents are rising during the sheltering-in-place strictures of the coronavirus pandemic. Couples who already were experiencing friction in their relationship can have it heated to a higher level by being unable to avoid each other.
One of the latest assault claims involves Bryshere Gray, an actor on the 2015-2020 Fox TV series “Empire.”
Police in Goodyear, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix, arrested Gray and took him into custody on Monday morning, July 13, after the actor’s wife placed a 911 call reporting a domestic assault the previous night.
The alleged incident occurred around 10:15 p.m. Sunday. The actor’s wife reportedly fled their home and received a ride from someone she flagged down at a gas station, then made the 911 call. Police said she had numerous physical injuries on her body.
Police then went to the home of the actor, who reportedly refused to emerge. After the arrival of a SWAT team and crisis negotiation officers, Gray came out and was taken into custody at about 7 a.m. Monday.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the actor, age 26, was booked in Maricopa County jail on charges of aggravated assault, assault and disorderly conduct. His wife was treated for non-life-threatening injuries and released.
On all 6 seasons of “Empire,” Gray played Hakeem Lyon, a hip-hop performer and a son of Lucious Lyon, played by Terrence Howard, who ran a large music company.
Early last year, actor Jussie Smollett, who played another Lyon son, was charged with felony disorderly conduct after allegedly making a false claim of being attacked in Chicago as a hate crime. Later, the charge was dropped by prosecutors.
If Smollett had been tried and convicted of the felony crime of making a false report to peace officers, the penalty would have been as much as 3 years in prison. He did lose his place on the TV series, which dropped him before its 6th and final season, which ended in April of this year.
Domestic violence is a serious charge in Texas
Clearly, a charge of domestic violence is a serious matter.
In Texas, domestic assault is a Class A misdemeanor if the defendant has no previous convictions for the crime. In that case, a convicted person faces a jail sentence of up to 1 year and a fine of up to $4,000.
If the defendant did have prior convictions, the charge rises to as high as a third-degree felony. Penalties for that crime are 2 to 10 years in prison and a fine of as much as $10,000.
Aggravated assault, which involves serious physical harm or using or brandishing a deadly weapon, is a second-degree felony. Penalties for that crime are 2 to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
False domestic violence claims do arise
Keep in mind that false claims of domestic violence do arise. Perhaps an angry spouse or partner claims domestic assault as a means of revenge or control. Then, the accused faces a serious legal battle and potentially severe punishments.
If you or someone close to you in the Houston, Texas area faces a false claim, allegation, accusation or charge of domestic assault, notify an experienced domestic violence defense lawyer today.
Contact the Neal Davis Law Firm for a confidential consultation to discuss your case. The penalties are high, and your legal rights must be protected.