Cynthia Williams lived in New Iberia, Louisiana, with her husband, Lester. In 2004, she obtained a permanent restraining order against her husband following his arrest for second-degree battery against her. He was eventually convicted of that charge and sentenced to five years in jail, but a judge suspended the sentence and placed him on probation.
On December 16th of 2005, sheriff's deputies responded to a 911 call from Cynthia, who they found "crying and shaking", saying "Please help me." Williams was arrested that night for domestic abuse battery. But when it came time for Williams to appear in court on February 13, 2006, Cynthia wrote a letter to the judge, asking that the charges be dropped.
On February 21st, 2006, eight days after her letter, Cynthia was dead -- strangled in her bed. (See the Daily Iberian, February 22, 2006)
Zero-tolerance sheriffs' policies, with law enforcement equipped with digital and video cameras to document broken glass and furniture -- and injuries to the victim -- would allow law enforcement in Louisiana to prosecute abusers, whether or not the victim will testify. And immediate back-up from women's shelters and counselors would empower victims, strengthening them to stand up to the pressure of the abuser to not testify against them.
Looks like New Iberia, Louisiana, has a long way to go in protecting its citizens against domestic violence. How many more people have to die before they begin doing what other police/sheriff departments do to stop this senseless violence?