The Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office (VPSO) responded to a domestic abuse incident on November 1.

The VPSO received a call from a woman who claimed that her neighbor had come to her house and was bleeding. After speaking with the victim, the woman immediately called VPSO. When deputies arrived at the residence they noticed that the female victim had visible injuries to her face.

The victim told deputies that Sidney Young Lucius III, of Leesville, had punched her in the face. The victim also noted that Lucius physically held her down on the floor. Deputies subsequently went to the residence where the alleged incident took place, and arrested Lucius without incident.

Lucius was charged with one count of domestic abuse battery, and was booked into the VPSO Jail. 

Lucius’ bond has not been set, because he has a pending Gwen’s Law hearing. Gwen’s Law refers to Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure 313. Passed in 2016, the law dictates that in cases of domestic abuse the court will determine the conditions of bail, or whether the defendant should be held without bail, pending trial.

The law gets its namesake from Gwen Salley, of Desoto Parish, who was murdered in 2014. At the time, Salley was trying to get a divorce from her estranged husband Michael Salley. During the process Michael Salley was arrested for false imprisonment, unlawful possession of a dangerous weapon and aggravated assault with a firearm. 

After being charged, Michael Salley was released from prison on bond after spending less than a day in prison. He would then kidnap Gwen, murder her, and then take his own life.

Gwen’s Law seeks to prevent violent situations like that, and to protect victims of domestic abuse. Gwen’s Law hearings take place five days after a domestic violence arrest is made.