Drop Attempted Murder / Serious bodily injury charges against Joshua Swarts.
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On May 6, 2012, around 9:00 PM, Josh Swarts and his then wife Taylor, along with their two children were at a party in the home of one of Josh's coworkers. Josh and Taylor had both been drinking and Taylor drove the family home around 100 AM. Taylor became verbally and physically abusive towards Josh when they arived home because she thought he was flirting with a coworker at the party earlier in the evening.
Josh tried to leave the apartment to avoid conflict as he had done before on July 27, 2011 when Taylor was arrested for domestic violence and battery after she admitted throwing a vase, battering Josh and not letting him leave the apartment. This occured because Taylor was angry about another female texting Josh asking about one of his friends. To stop the assault, Josh had taken Taylor to the ground to end the altercation. Josh called 911 and police arrested Taylor for domestic violence.
Since Taylor was being verbally abusive, hitting him and not allowing him to leave, Josh again took Taylor to the floor in self defense. Josh used a foot sweep takedown in which he had his right arm around the outside lateral left portion of Taylor's neck (not restricting her airway or blocking off circulation to the corotoid artery or jugular vein). He placed his left arm behind Taylor's right bicep and used his right leg to sweep Taylor's right leg out from under her. While on top of Taylor he put slight pressure on his right arm to control Taylor for approx 10-15 seconds and then got up to leave. Taylor tried to grab his leg as he was leaving.
During the altercation, a neighbor who lived below their apartment had called police. While the police were on their way to the scene, Josh realized he didn't have his military ID so he went back to the apartment to get it so he could go to work that morning. When police arrived, Taylor told them that Josh had thrown her around the room, struck her in the face and tried to strangle her many times. She could not remember details about any of the alleged atempts to strangle her like whether he was in front or behind her or how he allegedly did it. She did corroborate almost word for word how Josh had put his arm around the outside of her neck and taken her to the floor.
Bruising on and behind both ears, (the left side more pronounced than the right, the right side barely noticeable) and a small, slight bruise on one of Taylor's arm about the size of a fingertip were the only injuries sustained by Taylor. Josh stated he thought at one time he had her in a headlock trying to restrain her from attacking him. No marks were found to her face or neck to substantiate Taylor's account of being choked or struck in the face. Hospital reports state that Taylor had no difficulty breathing or talking after the incident.
One officer asked Taylor to tell him what occured after the police arrived and Taylor stated she was scared because she did not know if she was going to get in trouble. One paragraph of discovery, written by an investigator incolved in the case states; "When I first contacted Ms. Swarts, it was difficult to get a statement from her. She had a hard time talking to me without crying. Ms. Swarts was not able to explain what had occurred in a story form, but instead, she stated bits and pieces of what had happened. Some time later, she was able to give me more details, but it appeared as though she was having a difficult time recalling all that had happened." Just a couple of hours earlier however, Taylor had told an EMS worker that she never lost conscienceness and remembered everything that had happened.
Taylor told police she had tried to get away from Josh because she thought he was trying to kill her and he wouldn't let her go. She told police she knew she could go to the bathroom in their bedroom and lock the door and he wouldn't be able to get in yet when she had the chance to, she didn't. Police narrative states" I asked Ms. Swarts if she recalled going outside the residence and she said she recalled going to her neighbor's house on their porch and said she was just going to stand on the porch until someone heard her crying and came to her assistance. She said she was not going to return to her house and that outside on her neighbor's porch was a safe spot where, if he were to assault her there, other people would see it and instantly he would go to jail." The detective then asked Taylor how she was able to get outside and she stated she did not remember but believed when an opportunity had presented itself, she had run down the stairs and gone outside.
If someone were really trying to kill you, would you just stand on somebody's doorstep and cry hoping they might hear you? Why would you not beat on the door and scream for help? Later that morning when investigators told Taylor that Joshua had been charged with attempted murder and serious bodily injury she started crying immediately and would no longer cooperate with the nurse forensic examiner, the police or the investigators.
The next day one of the officers involved called Taylor and asked if there was anything he could do for her and she stated "she did not want Josh charged with the charges levied against him." She also stated she did not think Josh was trying to kill her. Taylor also spoke with an investigator and told him she would be amendable to any kind of a plea agreement requiring the defendant to get counseling and treatment for his alcohol abuse and anger management. She called back the investigator a short time later and wanted to advise him that she did not believe her husband was trying to kill her that night but she really didn't know what he was thinking.
I know my son well as I raised him and his sister since the time his mother and I divorced (when he was eight) until he was seventeen. He has never been violent to myself, his sister or any of his girlfriends. When Josh learned of Taylor's pregnancy, he enlisted in the Army to provide for her and their unborn child. They married shortly after. Josh had been in the military aproximately four years, had been to Iraq twice and revieved a good conduct award as well as an award for service in Iraq.
Since his incarceration began on 02/04/12, Josh has been considered guilty until proven innocent. In his divorce he lost custody of his children and can only get supervised visits when he does get out of jail because he couldn't be at the divorce hearing to testify on his behalf. Josh has kept in touch with his two children by calling them when they are at his mothers, as well as by sending them letters there. He has only been in trouble once in over the year he has been in jail and that was because a guard didn't want him to have a bathroom stall door closed while he was trying to defecate.
Josh is facing 10-30 years on charges that do not fit with what happened that night. The foot sweep did not compromise Taylor's airway or stop bloodflow to her brain and Taylor told police and EMS she did not think she lost conscienceness. Therefore how can he be charged with attempted murder? If Josh really wanted to kill Taylor he could have easily choked her out, beat her, or used a weapon he had locked up in his gunsafe. He did none of those! The serious bodily injury charge does not fit as there was no broken bones, second degree burns or injuries of a permanent nature sustained. Bruises behind Taylor's ears from being in a headlock that healed on their own approximately twelve days later were what the prosecuter considers serious bodily injury.
I wish Josh's ex wife NO ILL WILL as she is the mother of my two beautiful Grandchildren. She does love her kids and does in my opinion, a good job of raising them. Please do not try to contact, coerce, harass or threaten her in any way. The purpose of this petition is to show support for Joshua and to urge the ADA Jeffrey Pearson and the DA Dan May to see the error of these wrongful charges. Please keep comments positive and constructive.
This is not meant to be a forum for bashing Josh's ex wife. In this petition I am merely condensing events and statements taken from the police reports written after the incident in hope that the people in power listen and do what is right and fair. I do believe and the evidence proves that what Taylor fallaciously told police to stop her from being taken to jail again for battery /domestic violence, has wrongly led the Assistant District attorney Jeffrey Pearson to charge Joshua with attempted murder and serious bodily injury . Please support an innocent man against wrongfull, unfounded prosecution by sighning this petition to drop/ reduce charges against Josh Swarts to time served.
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