Damarius JaJuan Stradford (Photo: Georgia Department of Corrections)

Man will serve 2 years for punching woman in the mouth

A Smyrna man who has already served three stints in state prison will return again after his conviction for abusing a woman, the Cobb County District Attorney said Friday.

Damarius JaJuan Stradford, 32, was found guilty of aggravated battery-family violence and theft by taking for punching the woman in the mouth as she drove and taking her money and phone, DA Vic Reynolds’ office said. He was sentenced to 20 years, with two to serve in prison and the remainder on probation.

Around 12:15 a.m. on July 10, 2014, police were called to an Oakdale Road apartment complex on reports of a woman screaming, according to investigators. Officers arrived to find a woman bleeding profusely from her mouth.

The woman told police Stradford had punched her as she drove in the complex before taking her money and phone. Stradford was not at the scene when officers arrived, his arrest warrant states. He was later arrested and booked into the Cobb County jail.

During Stradford’s trial, the woman refused to testify and was held in contempt of court and jailed for seven days, Reynolds said.

“This defendant abused (the woman) and blamed her for his actions,” Lauryn Perry, an assistant DA, said in an emailed statement. “He never accepted responsibility, and he thought that he could get away with it. Victims of domestic violence are not at fault for the actions of their abusers.”

Stradford was returned to the Cobb jail, where he remained Friday morning while awaiting transfer to a state prison. Between 2009 and 2011, Stradford served three times in prison following convictions for theft, drugs and firearms charges, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections.