New charges could help keep abuse survivor's ex-husband behind bars

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette brought seven new felony charges Tuesday against Kevin Beverly, 44, who is serving out the end of a maximum five-year sentence on a 2012 aggravated stalking charge involving his ex-wife, Nicole Beverly.

Nicole Beverly told the Free Press in June the story of the abuse she endured at the hands of her ex-husband and how she fears for her life with his pending release. She is making arrangements to flee the state with their children and go into hiding because she fears he'll kill her when he's paroled Aug. 24. 

If he's convicted on the new charges, Kevin Beverly could remain behind bars for as long as 20 more years.

"I'm absolutely overjoyed that the Attorney General's Office has moved forward with the new charges," said Nicole Beverly, 44, of Ypsilanti Township. "I know that this is the first step in another battle, but I am ready to fight it knowing i have the backing of so many incredible people."

The charges stem from a series of death threats made against Nicole Beverly, Schuette’s office said, as he tried to influence or control her testimony at a child support hearing, in retaliation for reporting his criminal activity and in retaliation for her victim impact statements delivered at a sentencing proceeding. Evidence indicates that threats against Nicole were made both directly to her, and to inmates housed at the same correctional facility.

Read more about Nicole Beverly's case: Abuse survivor plans to escape Michigan, a state where the law won't protect her

“Living in fear is no way to live, and I won’t stand by and let a victim continue to fear for her life and the lives of her children when I believe there is evidence of another crime having been committed,” said Schuette. “Continued and targeted intimidation and retaliation is something that no one should have to experience.”

Kevin Beverly is charged with four felony counts of witness retaliation in Jackson County, where he will be charged as a habitual offender; a felony charge of witness intimidation and extortion in Washtenaw County, and a felony charge of retaliation for reporting a crime in Wayne County.

Even with the new charges, Kevin Beverly could still be paroled Aug. 24, and released on a GPS tether. The judges who handle the arraignment in the three county courts will determine bond and whether he can be released until trial, said Andrea Bitely, a spokeswoman for Schuette's office. And there's no guarantee he'll be convicted on the new charges.

For those reasons, Nicole Beverly is continuing to make plans to flee Michigan. But escaping won't be easy.

She has to quit her job, sell her house and simply disappear.

There's no victim relocation program in Michigan to help survivors of domestic violence and stalking move to another place that might offer safety. There's no help with changing your identity or programs that provide financial support.

And because Michigan is among 14 states nationally without an address confidentiality program, Nicole Beverly said she can’t remain here. She'll need to live in a state that offers at least that tiny bit of protection.

“There’s no direct help or services provided to people like me,” she said in an earlier interview.

She's scrambling to save money because she's afraid she won't be able to easily find a job in a new place. A friend set up an emergency relocation GoFundMe account to help her at least pay for some of the costs of uprooting her life. It's accumulated nearly $40,000.

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© 2017 Detroit Free Press


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