The female victim at the center of a major domestic violence case took the stand to testify in a DUI hearing against high-profile developer David Chase on Thursday.
Prosecutors filed a motion to revoke Chase's bond for a previous DUI charge based on recent domestic violence allegations.
But the DUI case took a back seat to accusations Chase attacked the woman twice within a matter of hours.
Chase was arrested for domestic violence earlier this month. He went to jail and approximately three hours later was back at home, where police say he attacked the same woman again after Judge Casey Moreland apparently used his influence to waive a 12-hour "cooling-off period."
State law requires people suspected of domestic violence to remain in jail 12 hours after their arrest, which allows alleged victims time to distance themselves.
But a judge also has the power to waive that rule, which is what happened in the case involving Chase.
The victim recalled the alleged attack, never making eye contact with her ex-boyfriend.
"I kind of gave up," she said. "I thought I was going to die."
The victim claims she was moving the last of her belongings from Chase's apartment on Elliston Place on June 8. After an argument, Chase allegedly dragged the victim by her ponytail, then threw her purse at her in the hallway.
The woman said she called police, who then arrested Chase. The ex-girlfriend said she returned to Elliston Place to continue packing her things.
"I knew I had 12 hours so I knew I had to get everything out," she said. The woman told the court it took less than three hours for Chase to return to the apartment, only to beat her again.
"I couldn't breathe," she said. "I was just gasping. He told me he was trying to break my neck."
Chase's attorney, Richard McGee, highlighted some aspects of the woman's testimony.
He asked why the woman permitted Chase to enter the apartment the second time.
"Well, if you were really frightened of him, why didn't you call for help?" McGee asked.
The victim said Chase had "never been aggressive" before in their relationship.
The defense lawyer also described the circumstances surrounding the former couple.
Reading text messages between the pair, McGee established the pair had split up several days before the incident. He then claims Chase had repeatedly asked his ex to move out of his apartment several times.
Through her testimony, the woman admitted police did not take pictures of her bruises and scratches. Instead, she took photos on her own cell phone. The woman also said officers never took her to the hospital and she couldn't seek medical care because she couldn't afford it.
The woman then said police took photographs of her bruises later in the week on June 12.
Judge Amanda McClendon decided Chase will not return to jail, and he can only leave home to go to work, church, the doctor's office, court, or his lawyer's office. Chase will not be allowed to leave his apartment on the weekends.
McClendon indicated the contractor must undergo drug and alcohol testing, as well as wear a GPS and scram monitoring device that measures blood alcohol content. A scram revealed Chase had alcohol in his system at a level of .308 the night of the incident. Chase is also forbidden from reaching out to the victim.
Chase's sister defended him outside the courtroom. She described the contractor as a good man painted in a negative light.
Because of this case, House Speaker Beth Harwell, R-Nashville, and State Rep. William Lamberth, R-Cottontown, say they plan to sponsor a new piece of legislation that would take away the judge's power to waive the cooling-off period.
They can't officially file the legislation until November.
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Wednesday, July 23 2014 11:12 AM EDT2014-07-23 15:12:28 GMT
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