Jacksonville Woman Uses Baby As Human Shield, Father Arrested

Jacksonville families have many things that plague their lives and cause problems with husband, wife and children happiness. Unfortunately, sometimes these stresses push people over the edge. When this happens, one should contact an experienced attorney to fight for one’s case and ensure that one can get back on one’s feet and not let a domestic violence charge be another plague in one’s life.

According to the Florida Times-Union, Devin Juan Wilkes, 24, has been charged with felony domestic battery, aggravated assault, and child abuse. The charges come after Wilkes was reported to have attacked the mother of his year-old son, Sheena Hunter, with a kitchen knife. Hunter was reported to have used the child as a human shield, which Wilkes threw out of her hands. WILKES%2C%20DEVIN%20JUAN.jpg

Jacksonville domestic violence crimes typically involve some sort of assault and battery charge. However, what is interesting about this particular case is the manner in which the child abuse took place: both parents used the child as a reason for their actions, but still, the child was physically abused, something both parents said they were trying to avoid.

Wilkes has been charged with aggravated assault, felony domestic battery, and child abuse, which under Florida law are all third degree felonies, each charge carrying up to five years of jail time. However, with an experienced Jacksonville domestic violence attorney, Wilkes, like others in his situation, could have these charges’ penalties lessened or maybe even dropped.

An experienced attorney can offer defenses and mitigating factors that could possibly lessen the possible penalties to Wilkes’ actions, such as:

– Wilkes put the knife in a drawer when Hunter tried to use the child as a human shield
– Wilkes only waved the knife at Hunter, and did not actually attack her violently with the knife.

– Wilkes asked multiple times for Hunter to put the child down before Wilkes removed him by force from Hunter.

One problem that Wilkes might face as a defendant is his criminal record. This incident marks the third domestic violence charge Wilkes has received in the past three years. The legal system will look to this very same criminal record in the sentencing phase of proceedings, should the case go that far.

The legal system tends to view those who have criminal records, particularly those who are repeat offenders of the same crime, as people who just have not learned their lesson. However, these people are people who need help from the court system, rather than a jail cell.

An experienced attorney could use a prior criminal record such as Wilkes’ to shed a different light on the case. Wilkes needs anger management and psychotherapy rather than an abusive and antagonistic environment within a jail which will only fuel the fire to his rage. The legal system is meant for helping people get better, rather than worse.


The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for more than a decade and are here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one require a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.

Additional Source: Jacksonville police: Mom used baby as shield when attacked, Dan Scanlan, The Florida Times-Union