Domestic violence bill advances

A Monroe man’s attack on his girlfriend convinced legislators Tuesday to advance a proposal expanding the state’s domestic violence law.

Allen Robinson is serving 110 years in prison as a habitual offender for burning his girlfriend with an iron and beating her with a belt, spattering their apartment with blood.

The case brought District Attorney Jerry Jones with the 4th Judicial District in Ouachita Parish to the State Capitol Tuesday in support of Senate Bill 70.

The legislation would add burning resulting in serious bodily injury to the definition of crimes of violence punishable by five to 50 years in prison.

Without the habitual offender statute, Robinson only faced minimal jailtime, Jones told the Senate Committee on Judiciary C.

“I wouldn’t file this bill if I didn’t feel it was absolutely essential,” he said. “But what do you do with people like this?”

Jones handed out pictures showing blood and flesh on an iron as well as bruises both old and fresh.

The victim in the case, Ester Freeman, told legislators that she does not need to see the pictures. Freeman said she sees the lingering scars every day.

“I want God to bless you and make you strong,” state Sen. Yvonne Dorsey-Colomb told Freeman.

Dorsey-Colomb, D-Baton Rouge, characterized Robinson as a maggot.

SB70 now advances to the full Senate.