Thermopolis Independent Record - Your source for news in Hot Springs County

By Mark Dykes
Reporter Photographer 

Darren Dumas jury trial begins

 


Monday saw the start of the trial in a case against Darren Dumas, who is charged with strangulation of a household member and domestic battery. The strangulation charge stems from Sept. 26, while the battery charge is from Sept. 23-26, and it is alleged he beat and strangled Christy Dumas.

Court documents indicate the couple had been arguing Sept. 23, and he smashed her cell phone against the wall and a tablet against her head. Also, it’s alleged he hit, slapped and punched her between Sept. 23 and 26. Christy endured injury to her left upper arm, back, right arm, chest, stomach and behind her left ear.

Concerning the strangulation, documents allege on Sept. 26 during an argument Darren grabbed Christy by the neck and threw her to the floor, and put his hand over her mouth and nose.

During opening arguments, Hot Springs County Attorney Jerry Williams said the jury would hear Darren and Christy’s story, of how the two met, fell in love and eventually married. There would be times when Darren was gone from the house for long periods, Williams said, but Christy maintained their home.

Williams said the jury would also hear from Christy of how Darren changed, becoming more upset with her and, at times, staying away from her. Williams said this change in behavior would continue until one day when Darren exploded and became violent, hitting and knocking down Christy.

Though Christy would seek help from the HOPE Agency, Williams said, she returned to the home she and Darren shared at a time she thought he was gone; he was actually there, and told her she was going to watch the kids of one of his family members and he threatened to kill her if she didn’t keep the kids quiet.

Williams further noted the jury would hear from medical experts as to the extent of Christy’s injuries.

Defense attorney Hope Mead said the trial would be the story of Darren and Christy’s 14-month relationship, and how they were together for only a short time prior to getting married.

There was a time in their relationship, Mead said, when Darren decided he did not approve of Christy’s friends or lifestyle. Darren approached Christy twice about a divorce, Mead said, and Christy told him she was not ready to end it. As for their time apart, Mead said Christy would go to Darren’s work to speak with him. The attorney described it as stalking to keep their relationship together. She also said Christy believed Darren had feelings for another woman.

As to the September incidents from which the charges stemmed, Mead said Christy’s reports are inconsistent as to when and where they happened, how everything happened and the extent of her injuries. She said the jury would have to determine which version, if any, is proven beyond a reasonable doubt. She added they would not hear, with any certainty, of the injuries caused by Darren or if she couldn’t breathe during the incidents.

Among those called by the prosecution was Dr. Jason Weyer, who saw Christy when she came in to the emergency room at Hot Springs County Memorial Hospital on Sept. 27, to be evaluated with regard to domestic assault.

Weyer said Christy’s chief complaint was she was assaulted and choked, and had pain in her head, neck and wrist, as well as areas of her skin. Weyer noted she had tenderness in her neck, as well as a bluish purple contusion on her arm.

Weyer said Christy also spoke to him of receiving injuries to her head, and testified there is always the potential that such injuries can cause memory loss at the time they are inflicted or even later.

Closing arguments in the trial were scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday.

 

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