CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A judge sentenced Jamuel Alston to 26 years in prison after detectives said he held a woman captive and sexually assaulted her in a Hidden Valley home.
Channel 9's Mark Becker was the only reporter in the courtroom as the victim's mother told her daughter's heartbreaking story.
Alston didn't flinch as he shuffled into the courtroom as the prosecutor detailed how he had tied up and terrorized his girlfriend for four days in March.
“The officers heard moaning and muffled cries coming from the back bedroom,” prosecutor Kristin Northrup said.
Northrup said police had tracked the victim's cellphone to Alston's home and found her badly beaten and barely alive.
“Her hands were cut, swollen and bleeding,” Northrup said.
The victim was in court, but her mother read her statement describing the gruesome attacks she suffered while being held captive before being rescued by police.
A part of the statement read: "Thanks to you being so cruel, my life has been turned upside down. My life will never be the same. You tied me up and continued to beat me, and then you started raping me. You beat me so much and so fast that you made both my eyes swell up. You pulled my hair straight out of my head. You stepped on my hands and broke my nails. You kept telling me that if you could not have me you were going to make sure that no one would ever want me."
The victim spent a month a hospital in the intensive care unit, and she is still struggling to recover.
“I was taught never to hate someone, but you have ruined my life, and for that, I do hate you,” the mother continued to read.
Lt. Susan Manassah, of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, said the investigation began as a reported missing persons case on March 26.
During the course of the investigation, detectives feared foul play might be involved and were able to determine the first name of a possible suspect and his street address. They were able to find the victim’s car on March 27 at a home in Hidden Valley and knocked on the door.
Alston, who had recently started dating the victim, answered the door.
Manassah said that, while speaking with Alston, detectives were able to get him to let them inside and that's when they found the victim, who had been severely beaten and was being held captive in a back room.
Manassah said the woman had been beaten to the point of being near death.
The victim's mother said that, if police had not found her daughter, she probably would have died.
“The condition of her, I looked at the photos. I can deal with dead people all day long. You show me a live person suffering, and that rips right through my soul because that shouldn’t happen to any human being,” Manassah said.
Manassah said that, if not for the quick thinking of the detectives, the victim likely would not have survived.
“We find her and you know what she does? She mouths to them, ‘Thank you.’ She knows the fact that these guys saved her life,” Manassah said.
Police arrested Alston, 35, and he was charged with attempted first-degree murder, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, three counts of first-degree forcible rape, first-degree kidnapping and possession of a firearm by a felon.
He pleaded guilty to one count of rape and one count of assault with a deadly weapon with the intent to kill inflicting serious injury.
Alston's attorney said he wants to apologize, but after hearing the details of the attack, the judge said sometimes being sorry just isn't enough.
He will spend 26 years in prison and register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
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