HOT SPRINGS VILLAGE -- A Hot Springs Village man was arrested on felony and misdemeanor charges early Tuesday after allegedly attacking his live-in girlfriend, hitting her over the head with a television and a lamp.
Eric Don Kessinger, 42, of 14 Arias Way, was taken into custody at his residence shortly after 3:30 a.m. and charged with a felony count of aggravated assault on a family or household member, punishable by up to six years in prison, and a misdemeanor count of third-degree domestic battery, punishable by up to one year in jail.
Kessinger was initially held on a zero bond, but appeared Wednesday in Garland County District Court where he pleaded not guilty to the charges and is set for a felony review hearing on July 21. Judge Joe Graham set his bond at $10,000 and he was later released. A court order barring him from contact with his girlfriend was also issued Wednesday.
According to court records, Kessinger lists no prior felony history, but he pleaded no contest in 2012 to a misdemeanor count of driving while intoxicated, third offense, and was sentenced to six months' supervised probation. On Jan. 24, 2020, a former girlfriend in Cleburne County obtained an order of protection against Kessinger, but it was later dismissed.
According to the probable cause affidavit, around 3 a.m., Hot Springs Village Police officers were dispatched to the Arias Way residence regarding a possible disturbance after a Saline County 911 dispatcher received a call from a female saying, "I'm not gonna do this anymore" and then the call was disconnected.
A second call was received and a female could be heard crying and then the call was dropped. Sgt. Kevin Chambers was first to arrive and heard a door slam inside the residence as he exited his unit. He knocked on the door and a woman came running from the hallway area and Chambers and her moved into the carport area to speak.
The woman stated she and her boyfriend of four years, identified as Kessinger, had been drinking and got into an argument around 11 p.m. Monday. She decided to sleep in a separate bedroom and around 3 a.m. Tuesday, Kessinger allegedly kicked her door open and began slapping her in the head.
Then he allegedly got behind her, put his arm across her throat and began choking her until she couldn't breathe, she said, noting she attempted to get away and ended up in the main bedroom where Kessinger "hit her over the head with a lamp and a television." While she was on the floor "in a defensive fetal position," he began kicking her back and legs.
Officers noted the woman had cuts on her arm and fingers, a red line around her neck and a mark on her cheek. There were also spots of blood observed on her and her shirt was torn.
Officer 1st Class Colt Sharp had entered the residence and made contact with Kessinger inside who was "in an agitated state" and refused to speak about what had happened. He was noted to have some scratch marks on his chest.
Officers noted the secondary bedroom door was kicked in with the door latch on the floor and there was blood on the bed. In the main bedroom, they reportedly found a broken lamp on the floor and a broken television on the dresser which had hair sticking out of the cracks in it.
Officers also found a toenail which the woman noted she had lost during the altercation. She noted Kessinger might have scratch marks from her trying to get him off her. Sharp noted Kessinger had blood on his arm, but it didn't appear to be his blood and he wouldn't say how it got there.
Based on the woman's statement and the evidence found Kessinger was arrested on the battery and assault charges.