Jury reaches verdict on Columbus man who beat his pregnant girlfriend with a clothes iron

If you witness a crime, here’s what to do

Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.
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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.

The Columbus man on trial for beating his six months’ pregnant girlfriend unconscious with a clothes iron has been convicted of home invasion, aggravated assault and assaulting an unborn child.

Judge Arthur Smith III set Deron Devon Mahone’s sentencing for Friday morning.

Prosecutors said Mahone was jailed for violating probation in 2015 after he broke into his girlfriend’s apartment and took her cell phone. Blaming her for his incarceration, he told a fellow inmate he would make her pay when he got out, investigators said.

When that inmate was released, he warned the woman about Mahone’s threat. Anticipating trouble, she had her three children stay at a sister’s home the night before Mahone got out of jail.

Mahone was released June 12, 2015, and went straight to the girlfriend’s home at 411-C Booker T. Washington Apartments, a housing complex off Veterans Parkway that has since been demolished.

She was 29 years old then, and 23 weeks’ pregnant with Mahone’s child, having had a relationship with him for two years. She later gave birth to daughter who’s now 2 years old.

Arriving shortly before 10 a.m., Mahone kicked in her front door and raced up the stairs and into her bedroom, where he grabbed the clothes iron and beat her until it broke, leaving a deep gash over her right eye, fracturing the occipital lobe and breaking her left arm when she raised it to ward off the blows.

When she fell bleeding to the floor, he kicked her in the groin and abdomen, breaking her ribs and causing placental bleeding. He left her unconscious.

The victim testified that she was asleep when Mahone got there, and woke up when she heard yelling outside. She looked out and saw Mahone, who spotted her at the window and shouted, “B---h, I see you!”

She called 911, and was on the phone when Mahone broke in. She said she tossed the phone aside before he got to her, so he wouldn’t know she had called police.

“B---h, I did three months because of you!” she said he yelled at her.

“He beat me with an iron over and over and over again,” she testified Tuesday. “I begged him to stop…. He kept beating me and beating me. He kicked me in my vagina and my stomach.”

When she regained consciousness, she ran downstairs and across a courtyard to the nearest apartment with an open door. “I didn’t know if he was still there,” she said. “I didn’t know what would happen next.”

The apartment she ran to was 407-B, where Joseph Williams was listening to music on a computer. Williams testified he looked up and was shocked to see her swollen face covered in blood.

“She closed my front door and locked it,” he said. “She was screaming and saying somebody was trying to kill her.”

When he asked who, all she would say was her “baby’s daddy,” he said. She was shaking, screaming and crying, and about to collapse: “It was just horrific.”

Williams called police as the woman went to an upstairs bedroom and lay on the floor. When officers knocked on the door, it terrified her, Williams said: She kept saying, “It’s him! It’s him!”

Arriving first was Cpl. Christy Truitt, who testified the victim was wearing only a short robe and had blood all over her body, pouring from the deep gash in her forehead. Her eyes by then had swollen shut, the officer said.

“He’s going to kill me,” the woman repeated 10 or 15 times, Truitt said.

Truitt crossed the courtyard to the woman’s apartment, finding the broken door and a trail of blood leading up the stairs, through a hallway and into the bedroom. Blood was on the floor, the walls, and the furniture, Truitt said.

Blood also was on the broken iron, which Truitt found shattered into 13 pieces.

The corporal got a warrant for Mahone’s arrest, but could not track him down, as he had no fixed residence. Finally she and a bondsman came up with a ruse to lure him into a trap:

Using a fake Facebook account purporting to belong to a woman, they sent him an invitation to meet at a McDonald’s restaurant, and he agreed.

After confirming his identity as he drove through the McDonald’s parking lot on Nov. 13, 2015, they followed him in an unmarked car before calling in police patrol units to stop and arrest him on Victory Drive near the Dolly Madison plant, Truitt said.

The Ledger-Enquirer is not disclosing the woman’s name because she’s a victim of domestic abuse.