Kids thrown in jail for refusing to testify against dad - KPTV - FOX 12

Kids thrown in jail for refusing to testify against dad in domestic violence case

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A Castle Rock man is accused of choking his wife, pistol whipping his son and firing a gun into the wall, but this week he was set free while his wife and children went to jail.

Joel Darvell's trial in the domestic violence case started this week and prosecutors were counting on testimony from his family.

His family members refused, and a judge held them in contempt and put all three in jail.

Darvell, 36, has a 17-year-old son and a 13-year-old daughter, and is charged with assault and assault with a firearm for an incident back in April.

Castle Rock police said Darvell was drunk when he started choking his wife. His son tackled him to protect her, but police said Darvell pistol whipped the boy and fired a shot into the wall.

Prosecutors moved forward with a trial, but Darvell's wife and children all refused to testify. Deputies then hauled off the teenagers and Darvell's wife to jail.

Attorney Kevin Blondin, who is representing Darvell's son, said he's never seen a judge throw a man's family in jail for refusing to testify.

The boy and Darvell's wife spent one night behind bars, while the 13-year-old girl stayed in juvenile detention for two nights.

At a hearing Thursday, all three of them changed their minds and agreed to testify.

"To have two minors put into custody is a pretty drastic way to try and resolve the situation," Blondin said.

A new trial for Darvell is scheduled to begin next week with a new jury. Until then, there's a protective order against Darvell that prohibits him from going near his wife or children.

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