Arrested last week for allegedly beating his wife and aiming a gun at her, a congressman from South Carolina was suspended from office Wednesday after a grand jury indicted him on felony charges, including domestic violence and pointing a firearm. In a recently released audio recording of the 911 calls, the congressman’s children can be heard screaming and begging their father to stop.
In a 911 call lasting less than 30 seconds, a police dispatcher attempted to contact the person on the other end of the line while hearing Rep. Chris Corley’s children repeatedly screaming, “Please stop! Just stop, Daddy. Just stop!”
Before the call abruptly ended, Corley’s wife shouted, “Please help!”
On the evening of December 26, deputies were responding to the initial disturbance report at Corley’s residence when dispatchers received a second 911 call accusing the congressman of beating his wife and threatening to kill himself with a gun. According to Corley, his wife attempted to punch him after accusing him of infidelity and scratched his forehead.
But according to Corley’s wife and the audio recording from the first 911 call, Corley repeatedly struck his wife in the head with a closed fist until he finally noticed their children screaming and blood pouring from her head. After retrieving a firearm and threatening to kill his wife, Corley reportedly threatened to commit suicide and entered the bedroom. Upon Corley’s arrest, deputies located a Smith & Wesson handgun in his possession.
Despite the fact that Corley was charged with first-degree domestic violence and pointing a firearm at another person on December 27, he was not suspended from his House seat until a grand jury indicted him on felony charges of domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature and pointing a firearm. Following the release of the indictment on Wednesday, House Speaker Jay Lucas announced Corley’s suspension from his duties as a state representative.
According to state law, any legislator indicted on felony charges must be suspended. If convicted on the domestic violence charge, Corley could face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
Notorious for fighting against the removal of the Confederate flag from Statehouse grounds last year, Corley sent Christmas cards to his fellow legislators last month accusing them of moral ineptitude for removing the flag. In a legislative session before his arrest, Corley ironically voted for a bill supporting harsher sentences for domestic violence offenders.