Domestic violence victim aids authorities in arrest

Published 5:25 pm Friday, October 4, 2013

A pregnant Greenville woman helped authorities capture her own assailant after being nearly strangled to the point of unconsciousness.

Her boyfriend, 23-year-old Terry Shelby, was taken into custody Thursday and charged with domestic violence by strangulation following a multiple-day investigation that all began with a seemingly routine medical call.

“On the night of September 30, around 10:30 p.m., we had what originally was a medical call to an unresponsive female in an apartment on Carver Circle,” said Lt. Justin Lovvorn.

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“The fire department transported her to the ER here at Stabler, and her condition was labeled as ‘serious,’ and they arranged to have her airlifted to Baptist South.  At the time, there was no obvious cause as to why she had passed out or had been unconscious.”

The unnamed female began to awaken as she was being taken to Baptist South, roughly two hours following the original call, where she then made a statement to a nurse that her boyfriend had choked her.

After being notified of the situation, the Greenville Police Department discovered that Shelby had been arrested on unrelated warrants, and a hold was placed on him until more information could be obtained from the victim.

Shelby was released despite the hold due to a clerical error, but he was apprehended again in a foot chase Thursday behind Bent Creek Apartments

The victim was airlifted again to the University of Alabama in Birmingham when concern arose for the safety of her unborn child as well as herself.

After waiting a day before getting assurance from doctors that it she was stable enough to get a statement, authorities established what happened at the scene of the crime with her testimony and the preliminary evidence that had been gathered.

“She basically confirmed what we had established in the investigation up to that point—that an argument had taken place and that he had grabbed her around the throat at one point and pushed her against the wall in the apartment and choked her to the point that she’d almost passed out,” Lovvorn said.

Even though he’d released her, she was still lightheaded from the altercation.  When she went to sit down in the bedroom, she passed out completely.

That was when Shelby himself called the ambulance a short while after she collapsed.

“The one thing he did good was that he went ahead and got her help when he realized that she might’ve been in a serious condition,” Lovvorn added.

“So we believe that he did call the ambulance probably within minutes of her passing out and becoming unresponsive, hoping that it would just be the ambulance and that they would not realize anything else had happened.”

Lovvorn noted that even if the victim hadn’t regained consciousness when she did, the bruises that would inevitably develop would likely have become an immediate focus for the doctors, giving authorities a similar assumption to work with.

“It just worked out where she was able to help us out and regain consciousness too.”