Martin Chitwood has been cleared by a jury on charges brought by Carol Chitwood.
UPDATE ON THIS CASE
Carol Chitwood sued Martin Chitwood in San Diego Superior Court for allegedly pulling her hair, punching her in the face, butting her head, attempting to strangle her with a tank top in an incident in which he kicked her head, anally raping her, and abusing her in other instances. A jury found Martin Chitwood not liable on all her charges. On August 31, 2017, a judgment was entered in favor of defendant Martin Chitwood, who was deemed entitled to be reimbursed for costs.
The San Diego County district attorney's office is "reviewing" possible criminal charges against prominent Atlanta class-action lawyer Martin Chitwood, according to Tanya Sierra, public affairs officer of the local D.A.'s office.
He and his wife, Carol Swanson Chitwood, have homes in Atlanta and La Jolla. On August 13 of last year, Martin Chitwood was arrested by San Diego police for alleged battery on a spouse, according to Sierra. The case went to the city attorney's office as a possible misdemeanor "and it was not prosecuted," according to Gerry Braun, spokesman for the office. Later, Carol Chitwood's attorney sent additional information, says Braun. The case then became a possible felony that would be handled by the D.A.
The Daily Report, an Atlanta legal publication, has reported that in her divorce papers against him in Fulton County, Georgia, as well as in an assault and battery suit in San Diego, "She contended that her husband has knocked her unconscious, shoved her down flights of stairs, strangled her until she passed out, pulled a knife on her and forcibly sodomized her. Her injuries — noted in medical records included with her court papers — have required trips to the emergency room, stitches and surgery, she said."
Martin Chitwood’s San Diego attorney, Paul Pfingst (also San Diego's former district attorney), could not be immediately reached for comment.
Martin Chitwood’s Atlanta attorney, Marvin Solomiany, told the Daily Report that her actions are "an attempt to extort a settlement in the divorce case…. In her failed attempts to set aside the prenuptial agreement that she voluntarily negotiated with the assistance of her own counsel, Ms. Chitwood's fraudulent claims of domestic violence are an insult to those who wrote the laws protecting the legitimate victims of domestic violence and to the victims themselves."
The Daily Report also noted that "A supervisor at the San Diego police unit [said] Carol Swanson Chitwood's 911 call 'looked to us like part of their divorce' and that Carol Chitwood may have been 'posturing for money.'"