January 16, 2006
A Martinez man is in jail charged with aggravated assault, cruelty to children and kidnapping after leading police on a car chase. 37-year-old James Butler was arrested after deputies arrived and found his wife unconscious at their apartment on New Petersburg Road. Co-workers alerted officers when the woman failed to show up at work. News 12 talked with family members about the history of domestic problems.
“The only thing left in my grandma’s family is us two girls, you can’t take out the other one, we ain’t lived our lives yet,” said Brenda Burley, victim’s cousin.
Brenda Burley lives in the same apartment complex as her cousin and she says this isn’t the first time a domestic dispute has happened at apartment 221 in Petersburg Square.
“Her eye was swollen. She opened her eye a little bit when she heard my voice and I said I’m here,” Burley said.
Family members say the couple had been married 17 years and the wife just recently filed for divorce. Something that may have aggravated an already tense situation.
Co-workers knew something was wrong when the woman failed to show up for work. Co-workers called 911 when they went to the apartment and heard screams from inside.
“Once we responded a male subject inside the house ran out, jumped in his car, deputies pursued him a short distance,” said Frank Dodson, Columbia County Sheriff’s Department.
37-year-old James Butler was arrested and that’s when deputies found his wife breathing but unconscious.
“Looking for any type weapon, any type of signs of a struggle for documentation on the charges,” Dodson said.
“He knew he didn’t have no where to go and he pushed like he told her the only way they were going to get him out was through a body bag,” Burley said.
And now Brenda Burley has a message for other women involved in violent relationships.
“Women in domestic violence cases, get out, just get out because life is too short,” Burley said.
The woman was taken to MCG for her injuries. She is listed in good condition.