Man sentenced to 15 years for beating girlfriend for having Snapchat

Dameon Marmolejo at Lubbock County Courthouse (Source: Caleb Holder, KCBD)
Dameon Marmolejo at Lubbock County Courthouse (Source: Caleb Holder, KCBD)
Solidad Torres (Source: Torres family)
Solidad Torres (Source: Torres family)
Solidad Torres (Source: Torres family)
Solidad Torres (Source: Torres family)

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - A man who pleaded guilty to beating his then-girlfriend Solidad Torres over having Snapchat on her phone has been sentenced to 15 years in prison. The judge is allowing time served to be counted. The judge says 21-year-old Dameon Marmolejo didn't get the max sentence because of his young age and the fact he took a little responsibility and pleaded guilty to the crime. He pleaded guilty to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

The judge told Marmolejo "This was an act of family violence, you ever lay your hand on someone in the future it will automatically be a felony. You're going to go someplace where they're going to keep you caged like a dog. So now you're going to have the opportunity to see how that feels."

Marmolejo was arrested back on August 17, 2017, accused of causing serious bodily injury to his girlfriend, Solidad Torres.

Lubbock police say Marmolejo severely beat his ex-girlfriend for adding Snapchat to her phone. The 18-year-old girl was hospitalized and needed multiple staples to close the wound on her head. Torres had just graduated from Monterey High School in May.

The judge told Marmolejo, "For some reason you seem to think these ladies are your property to do what you want with them, when you want with them, and how you want to do it. They don't deserve to be treated like an animal. The brutality of this case is striking. To kick someone so hard that we see shoe prints..."

He went on to say," It's not right. To beat somebody like this for posting something on Snapchat? I don't know what to say. What this was about was she wasn't doing what you told her she could or couldn't do. You treated her like a dog."

When Torres took the witness stand on Wednesday, she described events that led up to a beating in June of 2017.

Torres described her relationship with Dameon Marmolejo as ideal and said, in the beginning, it felt like "puppy love," but she said he eventually became controlling and made her get a tattoo on her forearm with his name.

Eventually, she said the relationship became so controlling that Marmolejo would not allow her to use her own phone privately and would take it into the bathroom with him.

Prosecutors showed text messages during the hearing that read, "I love you! Better not be on Facebook."

The prosecution then asked Torres to give details of the events that led up to Marmolejo beating her on June 17, 2017. She had just come back from Post visiting relatives and went to her grandfather's house on 42nd Street, where she was living at the time.

Marmolejo came to the house, suspicious that she had been using the Snapchat app. She said he accused her of cheating on him and started pushing and slapping her.

Torres said she ran into the bathroom to try and get away from him, but Marmalejo followed, grabbing her by the hair and slamming her head into the bathtub. She said she lost consciousness after about four or five times, but did remember waking up while Marmolejo was "freaking out."

Marmolejo called 911 after the attack but left the house before emergency officials arrived. Torres said she was afraid to tell officials it was Marmolejo who had beaten her.

It was not until Torres was in the hospital that she began to tell relatives about what happened at the home.

Torres testified that she still has occasional headaches and night terrors as a result of the assault.

The state called Marmolejo's 7th grade teacher to the stand on Wednesday afternoon.

He testified that he once had to break up a fight between Dameon and another student. The teacher said after the fight was broken up, and seemingly over, Dameon hit him in the side of his head. The teacher said he had broken up fights before and had never pressed charges on a student. This time, he did press charges against Marmolejo because he had received prior referrals about Marmolejo's behavior and "wanted to start a paper trail."

The prosecution then called the mother of one of Marmolejo's ex girlfriends to the stand. She said she started seeing changes in her daughter after she started dating Marmolejo. She said her daughter appeared unkempt, acted distant and didn't visit family as much. This is similar to the way Torres acted while with Marmolejo.

The court then heard testimony from her daughter, the ex girlfriend of Marmolejo. She also said Dameon was very controlling with her. Just like with Torres, she claimed he wanted her to get a tattoo with his name in it, but she refused.

She said Marmolejo beat her after she told him she missed her family. She said he strangled her and struck her in the face several times. She left his house and called 911.

The prosecution played a recording of a 911 call from Feb. 5, 2017. During the call, the ex girlfriend told the dispatcher what happened, saying, "he's really abusive."

She said, "He got mad at me because I said I missed my family. I can't do his anymore."

The state then rested their case.

The defense then called witnesses to the stand. The first was a teacher who volunteers at the Lubbock County Detention Center, helping inmates with GEDs.

Dameon was enrolled in her class nine or 10 months ago. She described him as well mannered, well dressed and polite. When asked if she thought Dameon would make a productive member of society, she answered, "I do."

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