WARSAW — A Warsaw man was sentenced in Kosciusko County Superior Court 3 Tuesday, May 11, after punching a pregnant woman.
Lance Michael Jervis, 32, 1121 E. Wellington Drive, Warsaw, was found guilty of the following charges at a jury trial in April: domestic battery resulting in injury to a pregnant woman, a level 5 felony; domestic battery in the presence of a child less than 16, a level 6 felony; and domestic battery, a class A misdemeanor.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, officers from the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office responded to a domestic incident in February 2019. When police arrived on the scene, they spoke with a woman who told police she was struck once in the stomach and twice on the head by Jervis.
Officers reported that three children were present during the incident and at least one of those children corroborated the woman’s account of the incident.
Another witness told police she heard an argument but did not see any of the incident.
Police reported taking photographs of the woman’s stomach and face area, which they noted were red.
In court Tuesday, Jervis’ attorney, J. Everett Newman, said Jervis is participating in MRT, parenting classes and marriage therapy.
A man who previously served (along with his wife) as foster parents for one of Jervis’ children was called to the stand to speak. That child has since been reunified with Jervis and Jervis’ wife.
“We grew to love (Jervis’ child) really quick and wanted to make sure (the child) would go back to a good home,” the former foster parent said. “We developed a relationship with Lance and (Jervis’ wife).”
The former foster parent said he and his wife have attended church with the Jervis family and have had them over for cook-outs and activities of that nature.
“We feel like the foster community doesn’t often come out a lot of success stories,” the former foster parent said. “But he’s a good dad and a good person and I enjoy spending time with him.”
Jervis’ wife also took the stand. She told Judge Chad Miner that she and Jervis both had issues in the past.
“We were addicts,” she said.
She told Judge Miner that both she and Jervis are now participating in MRT, marriage therapy and parenting classes and both are drug-screened on a regular basis through DCS, with neither having failed any drug screens.
Newman asked Jervis’ wife what she would do if Jervis were ever to revert back to being the type of person he was before.
“At that point I’d have to give him the choice of continuing to be part of the family or going back to that lifestyle,” she replied. “But I don’t think he would do that. We’re both very proud of ourselves…of how far we’ve come and that we are not those people anymore.”
“My kids turned my life around,” Jervis said. “We continued to participate in these programs even after we got our kids back.”
Jervis told Judge Miner he has a lot of support through family members and friends.
He also reported learning new coping mechanisms to help with impulse control, such as counting and breathing techniques.
“I paint now,” Jervis said. “I enjoy doing it and that helps a lot, too.”
Jervis has had no criminal offenses in the past two years.
“I’ve changed my life around,” Jervis said. “Not only for my kids but for myself, for my wife.”
Judge Miner acknowledged that Jervis is making positive changes.
Miner sentenced Jervis to five years at the Kosciusko County Jail for the charge of domestic battery resulting in injury to a pregnant woman. Miner suspended three years of the sentence and ordered that portion to be served on formal probation.
The remaining two years may be served through community corrections or work release, if Jervis qualifies for one of those programs.
For the charge of domestic battery in the presence of a child less than 16, Miner sentenced Jervis to one year at KCJ.
For the domestic battery charge, Jervis was sentenced to one year at KCJ.
Miner ordered the sentences to be served concurrently, meaning all at the same time.
The alleged victim was not present during the court proceedings.