DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — A 43-year-old man was found guilty of assaulting his girlfriend at a busy DeKalb County intersection.
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The incident began to unravel on January 22, 2021. The investigation revealed that Lavon Bell, 43, and his then-girlfriend went out to eat at a restaurant in Lithonia. During the meal, Bell accused his girlfriend of cheating on him.
Officials said he then asked for the check and told the victim he planned to rape and kill her when they got back to her house.
The victim reportedly went to the restaurant’s bathroom, secretly called 911, and told police to go to her home to get her children to safety. She then sent a text message to her sister warning her that Bell was going to try to kill her in the car, according to authorities.
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As the pair got into the victim’s SUV and drove home, officials said Bell repeatedly punched the victim in the face and head.
When the victim tried to get out of the SUV at the intersection of Wesley Chapel Road and Snapfinger Road, Bell allegedly used a pocketknife and slashed the victim’s face from her ear to her nose.
The victim tried to run, but officials said Bell jumped out of the SUV, grabbed the victim, slammed her against the vehicle, and punched and stabbed her. She then collapsed on the road.
The DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office said other drivers in the intersection started honking their horns and getting out of their cars to help. Bell then stomped and kicked the victim’s face and head.
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Bell reportedly threatened the citizens who helped with the bloody pocketknife and lunged at one man with the weapon. He then stomped on the victim’s face one last time before getting back in the SUV and driving away.
A good Samaritan called 911 and followed Bell down the road to help police find and arrest him.
On Wednesday, a jury found Bell guilty on charges of aggravated battery (family violence), aggravated assault (family violence), and possession of a knife during the commission of a felony.
Following the conviction, DeKalb County Judge Alan C. Harvey sentenced Bell to 25 years in prison.
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