Muncie man with violent past arrested for allegedly beating pregnant girlfriend

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Joseph Bonner Jr.

MUNCIE, Ind. (April 6, 2016) — A Muncie man well known to police and the Delaware County Prosecutor’s office was arrested Monday on charges of strangulation, criminal confinement and battery of a pregnant female resulting in bodily injury.

According to court documents, Joseph Bonner Jr. called his pregnant girlfriend stating he had “stuff for her at his house.” When she arrived, Bonner Jr. allegedly would not let her sit down and forced her to stand inside his home for more than three hours.

The victim reported she attempted to leave several times, but Bonner Jr. placed his hands around her neck, slapped her in the face, and pulled her hair. Court records show she stated at one point, Bonner Jr. “grabbed her by her foot and pulled her off his bed, causing her to fall down.”

Bonner Jr. has a violent history and was charged in 2011 with robbery committed while armed with a deadly weapon, pointing a firearm and carrying a handgun without a license. In a separate 2011 case, he was also charged with carrying a handgun without a license and two counts of unlawful sale of a handgun.

According to Delaware County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Eric Hoffman, the more violent felony charges were dropped after the case fell through.

“Factually, it wasn’t there. As the case was pending, as sometimes with witness issues and whether they’re willing to come to court, and whether their story changes and so on, sometimes that happens,” Hoffman said.

This February, Bonner Jr. agreed to a deal after pleading guilty to the charge of carrying a handgun without a license. He was sentenced to four years behind bars, with two years suspended and the other two to be served on home detention with an ankle monitor. That means he never served time in jail for those charges.

According to court records, the victim in Bonner Jr.’s most recent case stated multiple guns were inside the suspect’s home. She also stated one of the handguns was visible to her in the bedroom. This means Bonner Jr. was violating both his home detention sentence and plea agreement.

“When you’re on home detention, there’s a whole list of things you can and cannot do. One is certainly commit a new crime,” Hoffman said.

Hoffman said there’s a chance a judge could revoke Bonner Jr.’s sentence for illegally carrying a handgun. He said cases like this are both common and frustrating.

“Anytime you enter into a plea agreement, you don’t know what the future holds,” Hoffman said. “You really have to base your decision on the facts and circumstances before you and in this particular case, again, the robbery case could not have been made had it gone to trial.”

Bonner Jr. has not yet been formally charged in his alleged crimes against his girlfriend, however, Hoffman said he anticipates them to be filed soon.

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