A Officer in Eatonton County finds himself the subject of a murder investigation as a person of interest now according to local news.On January 28, 2020 Officer Michael Perrault was arrested at his home for domestic violence Simple Battery with his wife and cruelty to children. When he was released on a bond, he went home and then contacted the police to let them know that his wife had killed herself.
Many people don’t realize that the crime of Simple Battery can happen to anyone, and in this example, including police officers. The offense of Simple Battery is defined by the statute from O.C.G.A. 16-5-23 and Battery is defined in O.C.G.A. 16-5-23.1. In part, these statute states that a person commits the offense of simple battery when they intentionally make physical contact of insulting or provoking nature or causes harm to another.
Because the incident involved his eight year old, officer Perrault can also be charged with cruelty to children in the third degree. O.C.G.A. 16-5-70 contains the information explaining how someone can be charged for Cruelty to children. One of the subsections of that statute states that if a child witnesses a battery or family violence battery, then the person who is causing the battery to occur can be charged with cruelty to children in the third degree. If the danger and situation that the son was placed into by these events is dangerous enough, as determined by investigators, then the Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) may become involved and he may also be additionally charged under the child abuse statutes O.C.G.A. Title 19 chapter 15. This type of investigation would be mandated by the Georgia Office of the Child Advocate (who would report to DFCS).
Perrault’s charges may get worse, however. Because he was the last person to see his wife alive AND because he was just released for Domestic Violence involving her, the authorities are scrutinizing every detail and will probably charge him with Aggravated Assault and Murder since she was found deceased after he arrived home.