Charges against a 34-year-old Searcy man that included aggravated assault were dismissed this week in White County Circuit Court because the alleged victim can’t be found.
Norene Smith, a deputy prosecuting attorney for the 17th Judicial District, had filed the motion July 9 to nolle pross the charges against Jesus Corona with “the right to refile.” Judge Mark Pate granted the motion Tuesday.
Smith wrote in the motion that “the state has lost contact with the victim and has tried to locate her through multiple methods: phone contact; contacting other people who might know where she is; sending officers to her last address on file; and contacting the Mexican Consulate. All to no avail.” She called the alleged victim “an essential witness” and wanted the right to refile “if she can be located.”
Corona had been charged with class D felony aggravated assault on a family/household member, class A misdemeanor domestic battery in the third degree; class A misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a minor in the second degree, class A misdemeanor interference with emergency communication; and enhanced penalties for offenses committed in the presence of a child.
According to the affidavit written by Detective Misty Goss of the White County Sheriff’s Office, the alleged victim reported July 18, 2020, that she was involved in a physical disturbance with Corona at a residence on Hidden Meadows Road while she was attempting to give her 1-year-old son a bath.
She reportedly had been struck on the head with a beer bottle and on the face. “Afterward, he threw her in the bathtub and choked her to the point of not being able to speak, making it difficult for her to breathe,” Goss wrote.
It was noted that deputies “observed injuries to her right eye, which was severely swollen and bruised.” Other observations written in the affidavit included that the alleged victim’s hair on the left side of her head was matted with “dried blood that included having dried blood behind her ear.” The alleged victim reportedly stated that “blood from her head covered both her and her son’s clothing.”
Deputies took photographs of the alleged victim and Goss wrote she observed from them what “appeared to be redness and slight bruising to the left side of her neck.” Goss also wrote that the alleged victim said Corona took her cell phone and car keys so she “could not seek help.”
The alleged victim reportedly said she was having “extreme pain to her head” and was nauseated and dizzy. According to the affidavit, the woman sought treatment at Unity Health’s emergency room.
Corona was taken into custody Aug. 25 “on another incident” involving the alleged victim. A detective, according to the affidavit, tried to interview Corona but he declined to give a statement.
The detective went to the White County Detention Center to serve Corona a “no-contact order” and he reportedly became upset. Goss wrote that Corona “excitedly uttered that he threw a beer bottle in anger and did not mean to hit the victim, claiming that he was aiming for the toilet next to her. He stated that the beer bottle bounced up and struck her in the head.”
For the other incident, Corona had been charged with class C felony interference with custody, but that charge also was nolle prossed.
According to the affidavit written by Detective Cpl. Heather Meadows, the alleged victim told deputies that “she needed to pick up her child from her home [and] that she was escaping a domestic violence situation and she had received placement from a women’s shelter and wanted a civil standby.”
However, when deputies arrived at the residence, the child was gone, with Corona suspect of having taken the juvenile. Corona reportedly had texted the victim that “he would ruin her life like she had his.”
Corona was found at a residence on West Park Avenue. Deputies “entered the residence fearing for the safety of the child,” found Corona and arrested him.