MAN FOUND GUILTY IN ASSAULT OF HIS GIRLFRIEND AT BUSY DEKALB INTERSECTION
Thursday, December 7, 2023
State v. Lavon Bell
Decatur, Ga.- DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston announces a conviction by jury trial in the case of a Lithonia man accused of brutally attacking his then-girlfriend.
On Wednesday, a jury found Lavon Bell, 43, guilty on charges of Aggravated Battery–Family Violence, Aggravated Assault–Family Violence and Possession of a Knife During the Commission of a Felony stemming from the assault on January 22, 2021.
According to the investigation, Defendant Bell and his girlfriend had gone out to eat at a restaurant in Lithonia. During the meal, Defendant Bell began to accuse her of cheating on him. He then asked for the check and told the victim he planned to rape and kill her when they got back to her house.
Defendant Bell’s girlfriend went to the restaurant bathroom to secretly call 911 and asked police to go to her house to get her children to safety. The victim then sent a text message to her sister warning her that Defendant Bell was going to try to kill the victim in the car.
The pair got into the victim’s SUV and Defendant Bell began to drive them home. While in the vehicle, Defendant Bell repeatedly punched the victim in the face and head. She attempted to escape the car at the intersection of Wesley Chapel Road and Snapfinger Road where Defendant Bell used a pocketknife to slash her face from her ear to her nose. The victim tried to run, but Defendant Bell jumped out of the SUV, grabbed the victim, slammed her against the vehicle, punched and stabbed her. She then collapsed on the road.
Other drivers in the intersection started honking their horns and getting out of their cars to help. Defendant Bell then stomped and kicked the victim’s face and head. He threatened the citizens who approached the scene with the bloody pocketknife and lunged at one man with the weapon. Defendant Bell then stomped on the victim’s face one last time and got back in the SUV to flee the scene.
A good Samaritan called 911 and followed Defendant Bell down the road to help law enforcement locate him and take him into custody.
Immediately following the conviction, DeKalb County Judge Alan C. Harvey, who presided over the trial, sentenced Defendant Bell to 25 years in prison.
The case, assigned to the Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Unit, was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Furhawn Shah with assistance from Senior ADA Nicole Finnie, DA Investigator Shawna Barber and Victim Advocate Shelbie Rainwater. DeKalb County Police Department Det. G. Moore led the initial investigation.