A woman convicted of domestic violence will get a new trial after the Michigan appeals court says an expert could have explained why she bit off a portion of her boyfriend's tongue.
The appeals court says Desirae Glatfelter's rights were violated by an ineffective lawyer. An expert didn't testify for the woman from west Michigan's Kent County because her attorney had failed to give timely notice to the judge.
The appeals court says the expert would have explained to jurors why women would use force in some circumstances. The court says the verdict might have been different. Glatfelter was sentenced to a year behind bars.
Glatfelter bit off part of Aaron Hollowell's tongue in November 2016 when he tried to calm her down with a forceful kiss and an aggressive "bear hug." She had accused him of cheating on her.
The Detroit Free Press reports doctors said the grape-sized chunk could not be reattached. During the trial, attorneys argued she acted in self-defense and was trying to stop him from sexually assaulting her. He reportedly dislocated her shoulder in previous arguments.
Glatfelter had surgery that prevented sexual intimacy, defense argued, and Hollowell was frustrated.
"She knew what was coming. She didn't want to have sex with him," Baxter told the jury, per the Freep. "She didn't want to kiss him and he had his hands all over her face.
"And he sticks his tongue in her mouth knowing all of this. And she reacted. She panicked. She didn't know what to do. And she just bit."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.