A Coweta man was sentenced to 20 years in prison for a domestic violence against his wife.
Matthew Adam Sells, 34, was given a 40 year sentence, with 20 years to serve in prison, in Coweta County Superior Court this week. The second 20 years will be served on probation.
Sells pleaded guilty to aggravated battery/family violence, aggravated assault/family violence, false imprisonment, three counts of felony battery/family violence, and one count of interfering with a 911 call for the September incident, said Coweta Assistant District Attorney Robert Mooradian.
Mooradian said that Sells and his wife had gotten into an argument at their home. During the argument, Sells threw her against the wall, pushed her to the ground and slammed her head on the floor. He also choked her, during which the weight of his body fractured her rib, Mooradian said.
Once the fight was over, Mooradian said that Sells took his wife’s cell phone, removed the battery, and hid the battery and phone in different parts of the house, took the battery out of her vehicle and took the vehicle keys.
“He was basically using intimidation and threats, making it where she couldn’t call for help, couldn’t leave,” Mooradian said.
Those actions led to a false-imprisonment charge. After a few days, Sells allegedly gave his wife the phone back and she called her sister. Her sister told her she could text 911.
“She was afraid to call,” Mooradian said. So she texted to Coweta 911, and a deputy responded, and saw visible marks from the altercation. Sells was then taken into custody.
At the time of the incident, Sells was already on probation for an earlier act of domestic violence against his wife, Mooradian said. His probation was violated by the September incident, and he has been held in the Coweta County Jail ever since.
Sells made a non-negotiated guilty plea. Several witnesses spoke at the sentencing hearing this week, including an old girlfriend.
“We tracked down an older domestic violence victim,” Mooradian said, who knew Sells between around 2000 to 2005.
The woman and her mother testified, and the mother presented a cassette recording of a conversation between her daughter and Sells from 2001. Sells has a conviction for a domestic violence incident involving the woman.
Mooradian said information about a conviction Sells had for burglary was also given to the judge.
The previous incidents showed a pattern of behavior and led to a longer sentence.
“It’s something he’s been doing for quite some time, based on his history,” Mooradian said. “I felt the pattern showed the violence was getting worse. It wouldn’t surprise me if he eventually killed his wife.
“I thought he was clearly a danger to people in our county, to women, to anybody he would have a relationship with again. So our office took this case very seriously,” the prosecutor said. “I’m glad the court did, too.”
Mooradian praised the victims for their actions.
“Both the current victim and the past victim were very brave,” he said. “They are all very scared of the defendant. I felt like both victims were very brave to assist in the prosecution, and I felt very fortunate that they were because many domestic-violence victims have difficulty following through with prosecutions.
“It was a blessing that I had their support throughout the entire prosecution.”