Kenner man pleads guilty to brutalizing girlfriend, gets 17-year sentence

A Kenner man was sentenced to 17 years in prison on Friday (March 17), for forcing his way into an apartment and brutally beating his pregnant girlfriend, and on a separate occasion, for stabbing her in the back.

Durrell Joseph, 21, pleaded guilty as charged to home invasion and aggravated battery, both involving his 20-year-old girlfriend because she wanted to end their abusive relationship. He was scheduled to stand trial on the charges next week.

The home invasion happened on June 13, 2015, when Joseph went to an apartment in the 1000 block of 31st Street. After forcing his way inside by breaking the door off the hinges, he dragged the woman by her hair out of the closet she was hiding in and beat her, causing numerous facial injuries and leading her to lose consciousness.

She told the Kenner Police Department that Joseph beat her because she wanted to end their relationship. As the officers interviewed her, she further disclosed that on Dec. 18, 2014, she told Joseph she wanted to leave the relationship because he was unfaithful.

During the ensuing argument, as she walked away from him, Joseph stabbed her in the back. Joseph apologized, and he then fabricated a story for police, asserting that she was attacked by a group of women.

The victim told police that she went along with Joseph’s story, because she feared he would harm her if she told the truth.

In court Friday, the victim provided impact testimony, struggling through tears as she tried to tell the court how the crimes affected her. “I forgive him,” she testified, adding that she did not want to see the father of her child spend the rest of his life in prison. “I’m a forgiving person.”

Judge Henry Sullivan of the 24th Judicial District Court, who accepted the plea, sentenced Joseph to 17 years for the home invasion and 10 years for the aggravated battery. The sentences were run concurrently.

Assistant District Attorneys Kellie Rish and Brittany Beckner prosecuted the case.

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