Fmr. Marine Gets 15 Years For Divorce Court Beating

FT. LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – A former Marine who attacked his wife in a judge’s chambers during a divorce proceeding received the maximum sentence of 15 years in jail for the beating.

Judge Geoffrey Cohen called Gonzalez’s actions “an outrage.”

“It was in a court of law where people for hundreds of years have been coming to peaceably resolve their disputes where people have an expectation of safety — certainly where your former wife thought she would be safe,” Cohen told Gonzalez during sentencing. “You chose it as a place to viciously assault her.”

Gonzalez, 29, addressed the court Friday during the sentencing hearing. He and his attorneys wanted the judge to issue a lesser sentence around 4 years in prison.

During the hearing Gonzalez apologized to his ex-wife.

“I hurt the woman I said I loved and I am sorry and I hope that one day she does forgive me,” he said. “I disappointed her. I was not a good husband. I wasn’t a good best friend.”

In addition, a psychiatric expert. who testified for the defense, told the judge Gonzalez suffers from personality disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and bi-polar disorder.

In February, Gonzalez pleaded ‘no contest’ to charges of beating his ex-wife in April 2011.

The couple was discussing final details about their divorce when Gonzalez lunged at his wife, Catherine Scott, and repeatedly punched her. Bailiffs had to Taser Gonzalez twice to subdue him.

Authorities said he got enraged when the judge ordered him to pay child support for the couple’s two young children.

Scott suffered a broken nose, fractured jaw and concussion.

Scott told the court that she was so badly beaten her kids and others were scared of her.

“I couldn’t even go pick up my children from day care because there were complaints I was frightening the other children,” Scott said.

She said she remains frightened to this day.

“I always feel like someone’s watching me,” she said. “I am constantly on edge. No matter how long Mr. Gonzalez is contained behind bars. I will never feel safe from him. ”

Gonzalez’s sister testified that in the days before the beating she contemplated having her brother committed because he threatened to kill himself.

Gonzalez told the court that he failed at being a decent human being.

“I destroyed any chance I had of ever doing what it was that I’ve always wanted to do — and that’s be a father, have a family and a loving wife. Be a loving husband,” he said.

Judge Cohen also apologized to Scott.

The judge questioned why a family court judge denied Scott a restraining order prior to the beating. The judge also wondered why that judge did not have an armed sheriff’s deputy in his chambers during the contentious divorce hearing.

“Under very emotional circumstances the fact that there was no security in place, frankly, is inexcusable,” Judge Cohen said.

Gonzalez heads to prison and his attorney fears he will not get the help he needs.

“He’s a young man who has some serious mental health illnesses that need to be addressed and by sentencing him to the maximum sentence surely will not help that,” said Swickle.

More from Carey Codd
  • BadDude

    mmm that will teach him a lesson to to beat women.

  • ann Masotti

    Well, in New York, Surrogate Court Judge Anthony Scarpino gave Guardianship to an alleged murderer…then withdrew NINE months later saying he wasn’t aware of the charges….duh!!! Alleged murdering husband of Amy Covello (sp?), killed in her apartment with her children present, left her l.6 million estate to the children….husband runs up from NYC to Westchester County, a suburb where anything goes against the victim, and files papers for Guardianship of the Children which Judge Scarpino easily gives…when it hits the newspapers shortly thereafter that he is the prime suspect in this murder, Judge Scarpino gets around to withdrawing guardianship some nine months after the fact claiming he wasn’t aware of the impending charges (All of NY was…don’t know how he missed it)…anyway, isn’t anything possible in the legal arena these days?

  • Marine-Sister

    As a sister of a Marine that went to War in my opinion what this soldier did was completely wrong and he needs medical attention and help, i do not think he should be in jail instead he should be in a hospital receiving medical help. The soldiers do not come home alright they are traumatized for what they saw over there and since they have pride they do not talk much to families about it. But it is not fair that he is going to jail he should go to a medical facility asap or else he can get worse. Military individuals are not bad but yes they need help. Once they go to war they do not come back the same. It is an irony that another man that killed his baby and the mother was set free by the judge. In that case you do need jail time or the death penalty.

    • Justice

      Excuses, excuses… Don’t you think EVERYBODY and ANYBODY that has and will ever commit any crime has some sort of life trauma they can claim caused them to act, and then attempt to get off easy? Of course they do – just ask EVERYBODY who is in prison and jail right now – each and every one will tell you that they suffered from some sort of post-traumatic, or other syndrome that caused them to commit their crimes – give me a break. Rot in prison loser…

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