Domestic Violence Defendant Sentenced Under Youth Act

A DC Superior Court judge sentenced a domestic violence defendant for simple assault under the Youth Rehabilitation Act 

Judge John McCabe sentenced Taylor Lyons to 90 days in jail, all of which were suspended, plus 12 months of probation. Conditions of her probation include receiving a mental health screening and evaluation. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Judge McCabe waived the community service requirement that usually accompanies a youth act sentence.

Lyons picked up the case in 2019 for assaulting a victim after he moved her glass by throwing an ashtray at him and physically hitting him.

The victim wrote an impact statement, which the prosecution read during the Sept. 16 hearing. In it, he recommended jail time with therapy, saying that she needs help.

“If you give her an inch, she’ll take the whole mile,” the victim wrote. 

The prosecutor cited several instances of Lyons harassing the victim’s neighbors. However, Lyons’ defense attorney, Albert Amissah, asked Judge McCabe to focus on the present case, not civil matters or other cases.

Amissah insisted that there are several bodycam recordings from responding officers in which Lyons says the victim has been abusing her. Amissah clarified that the allegations were not an excuse for his client to have behaved in the way she did. He acknowledged her wrong doing but said most of the issues began when Lyons started standing up to the victim. 

The prosecution originally agreed to enter into a Deferred Sentencing Agreement (DSA) with Lyons. However, after two probation violations and a notice of noncompliance earlier this year, the government revoked the DSA. 

The prosecutor said that he does not want to set Lyons up for failure by asking for the maximum sentence. Instead, he asked for at least 45 days in jail, mental health therapy and enrollment in a Family Violence Program.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Lyons has been homeless and without a cell phone for much of her probation. 

Her probation officer corroborated Lyons’ claim that she did originally keep in touch. The officer said she suspects that Lyons’ situation complicated her ability to keep in contact. However, she believed there are resources available to Lyons, but she needs to make herself available to those resources as well. 

Lyons claims she has been seeing a therapist for anger management for two years. 

Before delivering the sentence, Judge McCabe aked Lyons about her past, inquiring about her education and her living situation.

“Do not give up on furthering your education,” Judge McCabe said to Lyons. 

Lyons must also pay $50 to the Crime Victims Compensation Program.