Roswell woman’s death prime example of cycle of domestic violence, Fulton DA’s Office says

ATLANTA — The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office said a tragic murder in Roswell shows how the cycle of domestic violence can escalate.

Chris Fletcher, the mother of murder victim Kimberly Briggs, said that she tried many times in many ways to get her daughter to leave the man who would eventually kill her.

She said that Battered Women’s Syndrome is real, and she’s seen it firsthand.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said Briggs’ cycle of abuse at the hands of boyfriend Benjamin Gunby goes back to 2014 when he was arrested on a misdemeanor battery family violence charge and ended in June 2022, when he murdered her -- a murder for which he was recently convicted.

“A chunk of my heart was taken from me. Definitely,” Fletcher said. “As soon as I was informed of her death, I honestly wasn’t surprised because I was afraid that this was going to happen.”

“He bashed her head against the wall and fractured her skull. And it was that fracture that she eventually succumbed to,” said Chief Senior Assistant D.A. Donita Morris.

Morris said Gunby beat Briggs in an apartment they shared in Roswell. She made her way to a nearby motel, not realizing how seriously she was injured, and called 911.

“Something set him off and next thing I know I’m down on the floor and he’s just beating me, bashing my head against the wall and now I’m covered in bruises and I feel like I have a concussion,” Briggs said in a call to 911 that night.

Morris credits Roswell police detective Eric Blaser with an outstanding job of investigating, including his interrogation of Gunby which was played before the jury.

“When she’s talking about that, you beat her head, what does she mean?” Blaser asked Gunby during the interrogation.

“We got on the ground, and I was shaking her, but I did not beat her head,” Gunby said.

“Did you punch her?” Blaser asked.

“No,” Gunby answered.

“Did she leave with any injuries that you saw? And be honest with me because I saw her,” Blaser asked Gunby.

“Left eye,” Gunby said.

Morris said in April 2022, Briggs sent another man she had dated a video message in case something should happen to her.

“This is my face. This is what my boyfriend, or ex-boyfriend, Benjamin Gunby did to me,” Briggs said on that video.

“You had a young lady that’s 46 years old. She’s well educated with a master’s degree. Beautiful. And she actually knows that her life is on the way to the end at the hands of her boyfriend,” Willis said.

“It’s not unusual for a domestic violence victim to return to the abuser?” Willis was asked.

“Oh no. I think it’s more common than not. They say that most domestic violence victims return at least seven times,” Willis said.

Fletcher said that she has some peace knowing her daughter is no longer suffering like she did for years.

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