South Carolina lawmaker Chris Corley was indicted on felony domestic violence and weapons charges Thursday and was immediately suspended from the state House of Representatives. The indictment states that on the night of Dec. 26, the Republican harmed his wife by "beating her about the face, head, and body with a closed fist while in the presence of a minor," the Aiken Standard reports. Police say in the presence of his children, ages 8 and 2, Corley also pointed a handgun at his wife, "causing her to fear for her life," before threatening to kill himself. Authorities have released a 911 call from Corley's wife in which children can be heard in the background screaming and pleading: "Just stop, Daddy. Just stop."
Corley, who faces a maximum of 20 years in prison if he's convicted of domestic violence, was suspended from the House under state law, and lawmakers from both parties are urging him to step down permanently, the State reports. State Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey says the reason his fellow Republican needs to resign is obvious: "It's not OK to beat your wife." Corley has been charged with "high and aggravated" domestic violence, which "is one step down from murder," Massey said. "The only thing worse you can do is kill someone." Other state lawmakers say that if Corley doesn't quit, they will take steps to expel him. Last year, Corley voted to strengthen penalties for domestic violence and accused fellow lawmakers of lacking morals after they took down the Confederate flag.
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