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Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Man beats wife at divorce hearing

No bond for man accused of beating wife at divorce hearing


Paul Henry Gonzalez

Paul Henry Gonzalez moves to the defense table for his bond hearing on Thursday, June 2, 2011, at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale. Gonzalez, A former Marine accused of attacking his wife at a final divorce hearing, has been in jail since the April 15 beating on charges of battery, domestic violence and resisting arrest. Amy Beth Bennett, Sun Sentinel (Amy Beth Bennett, Sun Sentinel / June 2, 2011)


Tonya Alanez
Sun Sentinel

8:22 p.m. EDT, June 6, 2011


FORT LAUDERDALE A Fort Lauderdale man accused of an attack on his wife at a divorce hearing that broke her nose, fractured her jaw, blackened her eyes and gave her a concussion will be held without bond, a judge ruled on Monday.

Paul Henry Gonzalez Jr., 28, has been jailed since the April 15 attack in Broward County Judge Ronald Rothschild's chambers.

Catherine Scott, 23, testified on Monday that Gonzalez had been violent with her since before their September 2006 marriage. She said he pushed, shoved, dragged and punched her as often as twice a month.
"I'm extremely fearful," she told Broward Circuit Judge Geoffrey D. Cohen, who handles domestic violence cases. "If Mr. Gonzalez was capable of doing what he did in front of who he did, there's no stopping him. He has no regard for any kind of court orders."

The assault put Scott in Holy Cross Hospital's intensive care unit with cerebral bleeding and swelling.

Throughout Monday's hearing, Gonzalez would not look at the mother of his two children. Instead, he stared vacantly in the opposite direction.

If convicted of aggravated battery, he faces the possibility of a 15-year prison sentence.

Gonzalez's defense attorney, Dana Swickle, tried to persuade Cohen that her client would comply with any restrictions he might set. She said the alleged attack was "a one-time incident" under "highly emotional" circumstances.

"He felt that he was losing everything he built over the last several years," Swickle said. "He felt that everything was gone."

But Cohen said there was no condition of pre-trial release that he felt would ensure Scott's safety.

Scott's divorce attorney, Michael Dunleavy, has said Gonzalez was "in a rage" over having to pay child support and being told when he could or couldn't visit his children.

Dunleavy pulled Gonzalez off Scott and a deputy shocked Gonzalez with a stun gun on the judge's conference table.

Scott said she did not remember the beating itself. Her first memory afterward, she said, was coming to, seeing paramedics, and feeling her mother holding her hand and wiping blood from her face.

Gonzalez has said he doesn't recall the incident, either.

Assistant State Attorney Sarahnell Murphy said that before attacking Scott from behind, Gonzalez told Rothschild, the divorce judge, he "was tired of this bull----" and he would not honor the judge's orders.

"Ms. Scott is in grave danger if he is released," Murphy said. Even in a judge's chambers, "she was not safe from that man."

Since their March 2010 separation, he often sent her threatening text messages, she said.

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