Domestic Batterer Sentenced to State Prison Term

District Attorney Tom Quinn today announced that a 30-year-old New Bedford man convicted of a litany of domestic violence-related charges was sentenced to serve five to eight years in state prison. Terry Ward, formerly of 1365 Pleasant Street, pleaded guilty in Fall River Superior Court this morning to charges of assault with intent to murder (two counts), assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (two counts), assault with a dangerous weapon (two counts), threats (three counts) and mayhem.

Mr. Ward was accused of assaulting his girlfriend on at least three different occasions between August 2013 and February 2014. During the first incident, Mr. Ward strangled the victim while repeatedly telling her he was going to kill her after an argument over money. During a second incident, Mr. Ward threw the victim up against a car and a wall. And during the third incident, the defendant threatened threatened the victim with a knife, destroyed her belongings, strangled her and held her arm up against a hot radiator, causing lifelong scarring.

The case was prosecuted by District Attorney Quinn’s Domestic Violence Unit Chief, Courtney Cahill, who argued for a six to eight year state prison sentence, to be followed by 10 years of supervised probation. Mr. Ward’s defense attorney had requested a four to six year prison sentence, along with three years of probation. Superior Court Judge E. Susan Garsh, after hearing both sides, handed down a five to eight year state prison sentence, to be followed by six years of supervised probation upon his release from prison. While on probation, Mr. Ward was ordered to have no contact/stay away from the victim, complete a domestic batterers program and undergo random substance abuse screening.

The victim in the case was present in court for today’s disposition of the case and provided a victim impact statement to the court.

“This is a defendant who viciously attacked his girlfriend on three separate occasions. This type of criminal behavior must not be tolerated in our communities. My office will continue to consistently recommend severe prison sentences in cases of this type,” said District Attorney Quinn. “I would like to commend the chief of our Domestic Violence Unit, Assistant District Attorney Courtney Cahill for her tireless work on behalf of victims of domestic violence in Bristol County and for her hard work on this case. It is my hope that the lengthy state prison sentence in this case will allow the victim to heal and move forward with her life without living in fear any longer.”

Gregg Miliote
Director of Communications