Cobb man pleads guilty to killing wife, unborn child

Cobb man pleads guilty to killing wife, unborn child

A Cobb County man has received a life sentence for killing his pregnant wife and stabbing her son inside her Marietta home.

Elvin Leonard Durant, 52, on Friday admitted to the murder of Crystal Battle, 38, in front of Cobb County Superior Court Judge C. LaTain Kell.

He pleaded guilty to charges of malice murder, two counts of felony murder, burglary in the first degree, two counts of aggravated assault, feticide and criminal damage to property in the second degree, District Attorney Office spokeswoman Kim Isaza said. He was sentenced to two life sentences that will run concurrently, Isaza added.

Cobb prosecutors said Durant broke into Battle’s home on Wood Meadows Drive in Marietta around 2:21 a.m. Aug. 25, 2018. Durant, from whom Battles was separated, ordered everyone into the living room and told Battle, “This is the end of you.”

Elvin Durant pleaded guilty Friday to charges of murder and aggravated assault in the August 2018 stabbing death of his pregnant wife, Crystal Battle. 

Credit: Cobb County Sheriff's Office

Credit: Cobb County Sheriff's Office

Cobb police and prosecutors say Durant stabbed Battle in the neck and the head with a black folding knife. Battle's son, who was 19 at the time, tried to defend his mother, but was stabbed in the right thigh, prosecutors said.

READDomestic violence: Why the deaths don't tell the whole story in Georgia

Durant admitted to responding officers that he killed his estranged wife, who prosecutors said was eight weeks pregnant at the time of her death. Cobb prosecutors claimed there was a history of domestic violence in the relationship that led to Battle’s killing.

Battle was afraid to leave her home and said “her husband was mentally and sexually abusive,” the District Attorney’s Office said. She also said Durant claimed he “was ‘King of the Castle’ and could have sex with her whenever he wanted,” prosecutors said.

What caused the attack is unknown, but Durant was known to cops. He was charged with felony criminal damage in a July 30, 2018, incident at Battle’s home where two TVs were damaged. He was jailed for about three days before bonding out of Cobb County Jail for about $3,500.

“This is a sad, cautionary tale about the perils of unchecked domestic violence,” said Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Jesse Evans, who heads the Major Crimes Unit in the DA’s Office. “This defendant exhibited a pattern of domination, manipulation, and control – with fatal consequences. But for the heroic acts of Crystal’s son Jakeem and the quick response by law enforcement, who is to say what the fate of the other children in this house might have been.”

Editor's note: the National Domestic Violence Hotline provides resources to victims who are in abusive relationships. Their number is 1-800-799-7233. You can also call LiveSAFE Resources to get help breaking free from intimate-partner violence. They can be reached by calling its 24-hour crisis number at 770-427-3390.

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