EX-LAWMAKER AVOIDS JAIL …
Former South Carolina state representative Chris Corley has been sentenced to five years of probation in connection with a domestic violence incident that took place in December of 2016.
Corley tearfully addressed the court prior to his sentencing, begging S.C. circuit court judge Doyet Early to show him mercy.
“Your honor, I beg the court for mercy in this matter so I can continue to be a father to my children and continue to be a husband to my wife,” he said.
Early was apparently in a merciful mood … suspending a six-year prison sentence and letting Corley leave the courtroom a free man.
Corley’s plea came after his wife – Heather Corley – made her own impassioned plea in defense of her husband on this website.
According to Heather Corley, the episode that took place in their Graniteville, S.C. home seven months ago – in which she was punched in the face and allegedly threatened with a firearm – was due to her husband’s then-undiagnosed bipolar disorder (as well as prescribed medication he was taking at the time that allegedly exacerbated this condition).
“None of this was my intention,” Corley said in a statement exclusively released to this website last Friday. “I only wanted my husband to get the help he needed. We sought medical help for his mental state for one year. As the year progressed it became increasingly worse. He has since been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and the medications he was taking, which were prescribed, were increasing and prolonging manic stages which caused his behavior to become erratic. He has been in treatment since January and has been successful. We have our Chris back.”
Corley said she tried to reason with prosecutors in the S.C. attorney general’s office – and with attorney general Alan Wilson himself – but received no response.
News of Corley’s arrest last December broke exclusively on this website. Shortly thereafter, damning evidence related to the incident was released. Perhaps the most disturbing part of the story? Corley’s assault on his wife took place in front of the couple’s three young children – as evidenced by a harrowing 911 call featuring one of the children begging him to “just stop daddy.”
The fallout was immediate. Within days, Corley was indicted on a felony criminal domestic violence charge and suspended from the S.C. House of Representatives. Three weeks later he resigned his seat just hours before his colleagues were set to take up a motion to expel him.
Our take on this situation?
As we noted in our prior coverage, we believe Heather Corley has a point – and that her wishes ought to be respected in this matter.
“If what she says is true, then we wholeheartedly agree that her husband – who has never been in trouble with the law before – should be given another chance,” we wrote last week. “Heather Corley’s narrative paints the picture of a family that has survived a harrowing ordeal – and has worked together to identify and address what led to this physical and emotional trauma.”
Let’s hope that’s the case and that this family can move forward together …
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Banner via Travis Bell Photography