Capello to serve 20 years for assault
By LPR Staff
A Caldwell County jury sentenced Christopher Capello, of Lockhart, to 20 years in prison on Friday in connection with an assault on Capello”s wife in December 2002.
Capello, 34, was accused of beating his wife in the bathroom of his sister”s house on Dec. 6, 2002. The victim escaped his attack and ran to the street, knoc
king on neighbors” doors for help. Later, she returned home and called 9-1-1 to ask for medical attention.
During an initial investigation of the attack, the victim told police that she had been assaulted at a local bar, denying that Capello was responsible for her injuries. After receiving counseling from the Hays-Caldwell Women”s Center, she confirmed that Capello had beaten her.
Taylor Skaar, a counselor with the Center, said in her testimony that it is common for victims of domestic violence to cover for their abusers, especially to law enforcement. According to the Caldwell County District Attorney”s Office, Skaar”s testimony was critical in Capello”s conviction.
“We hope this example will encourage more victims to seek the help of the Women”s Center and find the courage to end the cycle of abuse so common in these cases,” said District Attorney Chris Schneider.
Capello has a significant criminal record, including a 120-day sentence in the Travis County Jail for assaulting his wife. She claimed during the punishment phase of the trial that Capello physically abused her frequently during their four-year relationship.
Capello also served time in the penitentiary for 11 burglary convictions.
His prior record raised the stakes in the assault case. A first-time offense of such an assault is classified as a Class A Misdemeanor, but a repeat offense becomes a third-degree felony. The added burglary convictions made available the 20-year maximum sentence, which the jury chose to impose. Capello must serve at least five years before becoming eligible for parole.
“We are extremely pleased with the result in this case and hope it sends a message that domestic violence will not be tolerated in this county,” said assistant district attorney Melinda O”Neil, who tried the case along with Schneider.
Capello”s attorney, Paul Evans, declined to comment on the outcome or whether Capello intends to appeal the conviction.