Judge Christi Kennedy, of the 114th District Court, sentenced a man to 40 years in prison Friday after a Smith County jury found him guilty of assault/family violence in April.
Jessie Lee Burks, 38, was convicted of hitting his girlfriend in the face and causing her nose and mouth to bleed one year ago.
He will have to serve at least 10 years of that sentence before he is eligible for parole, prosecutor Whitney Tharpe said after the hearing. Burks was not assessed a fine.
The woman’s daughter, who was 9 years old at the time, ran for help on the night of May 13 at the apartment complex where she lived with her mother and Burks, and asked for help from a neighbor who called police. The child had awakened to find her mother and Burks arguing and saw her mother had a bloody nose.
The child’s mother, who is not being named because she is an alleged victim of domestic violence, testified Burks came home that evening drunk and accused her of cheating on him.
As Burks lay on the ground, she kicked him twice in the head, she said, because she was angry at him. He grabbed her foot and she fell, hitting her head on a shelf, and her nose began to bleed.
The 36-year-old victim testified in April that she still loved and wanted to marry the man. The victim testified she receives disability payments for several mental illnesses, including schizophrenia, and Burks told her she didn’t need to take medication because “she was not crazy.”