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'If I can't have my kids, she can't have my kids': Local woman attacked after leaving custody hearing

'... and I hope she is dead,' said Avion Northan, the father of the woman's children
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Posted at 10:03 PM, Jul 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-07 23:33:36-04

NORFOLK, Va. - A custody hearing in Norfolk turned violent - News 3 is learning more about a man accused of hitting his children's mother with his car after he lost custody of their kids last year.

News 3 reporter Kelsey Jones went through court documents, which say the custody hearing took place at the Norfolk Courthouse in Aug. 2021. Then, just 30 minutes after the hearing ended, records say Avion Northan hit the mother of his children with his car.

According to those court documents, Northan pleaded no contest Wednesday after the incident.

It happened on Aug. 17, 2021, after the two were at Norfolk Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court for a custody hearing, during which Northan lost custody of his children.

Angry with the verdict, Northan left the courtroom. The documents state Northan then hit the victim as she was standing outside of her car.

Police found the woman on the ground with her legs broken. Court documents say the detectives ran to the scene and saw Northan walking towards them, telling police he just ran over a female. He cooperated with the arrest.

But it doesn't end there. According to documents, Northan said, "If I can't have my kids, she can't have my kids, and I hope she is dead."

We spoke with an advocate for domestic violence survivors about domestic incidents. Neisha Himes says sadly, cases like this are not unfamiliar to her.

"That's just the thing with domestic violence - whether it's one incident or many, it's always the propensity for it to escalate. As a matter of fact, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men are victims of severe partner violence," Himes explained.

As a result of Northan hitting the woman with his car, doctors say she had multiple injuries, leaving her with many broken bones and having to undergo many surgeries.

"That's the thing about domestic violence - it's not black and white. It just doesn't affect a specific group of people in a type of way; it affects us all," said Himes.

Northan has agreed to plead no contest, which is considered the same as pleading guilty, to the following offenses:

  • Aggravated malicious wounding 
  • Assault and battery against a family member 
  • Attempt to commit non-capital first-degree murder 

News 3 did put in a request to sit down with Northan in the Norfolk City Jail, but he declined to speak with us.

His sentencing hearing is set for Sept. 23.