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Domestic battery charges dropped against teacher

Jeff Schmucker Hernando Today
Published:   |   Updated: May 7, 2013 at 06:56 PM

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BROOKSVILLE A Powell Middle School teacher accused of striking his girlfriend multiple times last May will no longer face criminal charges.

Assistant State Attorney Sonny McCathran said the charge of domestic battery was dropped against Jesse Mockler, 35, after his girlfriend requested that the prosecutor's office drop the case.

McCathran added that the woman had reported the incident to deputies long enough after the incident that no photos could be taken of bruises she said at that time were caused by Mockler striking her.

"It wasn't any one of those factors, but a combination," McCathran said. "When you add them all together — the prosecutor figured it was best to go ahead and decline to file charges."

Mockler's arrest had no effect on his status as a teacher and he was kept on to teach this year as well.

Superintendent Bryan Blavatt explained at that time that teachers aren't removed from the classroom when they're charged with misdemeanors, such as Mockler's charge of domestic battery.

According to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office, Mockler and his girlfriend were driving from a concert in Tampa on May 6 when the two began to argue.

At one point, Mockler, who was in the passenger seat, punched her in the arm. He later abruptly put the vehicle in park, got out of the vehicle and attempted to drag his girlfriend out of her seat by her legs. When she resisted, he slapped her in the face, the report shows.

Authorities questioned Mockler, who admitted to all of his girlfriend's allegations — from smacking her to punching her in the arm, according to the report. He was then charged with domestic battery and then taken to Hernando County Jail where he was eventually released on a $500 bond.

The May incident wasn't Mockler's only brush with the law.

In 2007, Mockler was arrested on DUI and two drug-related counts.

He pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of reckless driving and served a three-month suspension from the school district. (352) 544-5271

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