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SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2007
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Pregnant victim improves; baby OK

By Seth Burkett
sburkett@decaturdaily.com 340-2355

A woman whose husband is accused of shooting her in the head with a shotgun was improving Friday and her unborn baby was doing well, Decatur police said.

An official condition report from Huntsville Hospital, where police said Windy Pruitt was originally admitted in critical condition, was unavailable.

Police found the grievously injured 27-year-old sitting in her car on the edge of Lindo Avenue Southwest on Thursday morning.

An 11-hour manhunt for her husband, Michael Pruitt, ended when the 29-year-old turned himself over to detectives at the Morgan County Jail at 8 p.m.

He remained in city jail Friday on the first-degree domestic violence charge. Bond was withheld because he had an unrelated charge in Decatur of failing to appear in court for a disorderly conduct case.

Investigators decided to charge Pruitt with first-degree domestic violence, rather than attempted murder, because he violated a protection-from-abuse order his wife obtained in 2006, said police spokesman Lt. Chris Mathews.

A conviction on the domestic violence charge would automatically double the minimum term of imprisonment without any consideration for probation, parole or good-time credits, Mathews said. If convicted of the Class A felony, Pruitt could face from 10 years to life in prison and up to a $60,000 fine.

Also, Mathews said, the prosecution would not be required to prove that Michael Pruitt intended to kill Windy Pruitt, only that he assaulted her with a deadly weapon and the intent to cause serious injury.

After 21 months of marriage, Windy Pruitt sought a protection-from-abuse order and a divorce in October 2006. Circuit Judge Glenn Thompson ordered Michael Pruitt not to abuse, harass, stalk or threaten her and to stay away from her home and workplace. She was given temporary custody of their child.

Court documents paint a picture of Windy Pruitt begging Michael Pruitt to stop as he beat her and held her at gunpoint for hours while their 7-year-old daughter was in another room of their home at 2609 Buckingham Gate S.W. on Aug. 4.

Windy Pruitt also said her husband threatened her life, shot a gun above her head and beat her to the point of needing medical treatment on multiple occasions.

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