New Trial For Woman Who Bit Off Part Of Boyfriend's Tongue

WWJ News
August 29, 2019 - 9:51 am

GRAND RAPIDS (WWJ/AP) - A woman convicted of domestic violence will get a new trial after the Michigan appeals court says an expert could have explained why she bit off a portion of her boyfriend's tongue.

The appeals court says Desirae Glatfelter's rights were violated by an ineffective lawyer. An expert didn't testify for the woman from west Michigan's Kent County because her attorney had failed to give timely notice to the judge.

Click here to read the court's ruling (.pdf format)

Glatfelter bit off part of Aaron Hollowell's tongue in November 2016 when he tried to calm her down with a forceful kiss and an aggressive "bear hug." She had accused him of cheating on her; at the time, they had been together for four years.

"She told the officers that Hollowell made undesired sexual advances toward her that evening and put his hands all over her and in her face. She explained that when something came into her mouth, she believed it was Hollowell's finger and she 'just bit,'" according to court documents.

The appeals court says the expert would have explained to jurors why women would use force in some circumstances. The court says the verdict might have been different.

Glatfelter, who claimed self-defense, was found guilty of aggravated domestic violence and sentenced to a year in behind bars.