MUNCIE, Ind. —A Muncie man found guilty of beating his pregnant girlfriend with an ashtray was allowed to remain free on bail until his sentencing date in late November despite objections from the prosecution.

Billy R. Simpson, 57, was found guilty by a jury on Tuesday to one count of domestic battery resulting in bodily injury to a pregnant woman, a Level 5 felony. Simpson faces up to one to six years in prison. His sentence will be decided on Nov. 30.

Booking photo of Billy Simpson (Delaware Co. Sheriff’s Dept.)

Despite Simpson having prior convictions for battery and domestic battery, and despite the court having already issued two bench warrants for Simpson failing to appear in court, Judge Kimberly Dowling denied the prosecution’s request to hold Simpson in jail until his November sentencing.

Simpson instead will remain free on bail and be required to show up to the courthouse on Nov. 30 to learn how much time, if any, he’ll spend behind bars.

“Words cannot adequately describe how disappointed I am that Judge Dowling chose to leave the Defendant out on bail,” said Delaware County Prosecutor Eric Hoffman.

According to court documents, police were called to a Muncie apartment on Elm Street in January of 2021 on report of a domestic battery. At the apartment, police learned that Simpson had allegedly battered his three-and-a-half-month pregnant girlfriend including striking her in the head with a glass ashtray.

Police said the victim was afraid to cooperate in the investigation and told officers at the time that “Simpson was just going to kill her when he got out anyways.”

“I hope and pray for the safety of the victim while Simpson remains out on bail pending sentencing,” Hoffman said.