New Bedford Domestic Batterer Sentenced to More Than a Decade in Prison

Bristol County District Attorney’s Office
Thomas M. Quinn III
District Attorney

Press Release
February 22, 2019

A 59-year-old New Bedford man who slashed his wife’s throat during an argument a year and a half ago was sentenced to serve up to 13 years in state prison, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.

John Mello pleaded guilty this week in Fall River Superior Court to indictments charging him with armed assault with intent to murder, aggravated assault and battery with a dangerous weapon causing serious bodily injury, assault and battery on a family or household member, and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

On September 9, 2017, New Bedford Police received a 911 call from the victim’s adult daughter stating that the defendant had just tried to kill her mother.  When the police arrived they found the defendant in the back yard, where he was repeatedly saying that he tried to kill his wife and that he had slashed her throat with a box cutter.  The victim was found with serious injuries to her neck, back and arm.  During an argument, the victim tried to leave their apartment.  As she was exiting, the defendant tackled her and slashed her multiple times with a box-cutter.  The most serious wound was a complete and deep slash from one ear to the other.   The victim was left with serious scars and severe PTSD. 

During a sentencing hearing before Judge Renee Dupuis, Assistant District Attorney Courtney Cahill argued that based on the vicious nature of the crime and the long term affects it is having on the victim, the defendant should serve 18 to 20 years in prison. The defense, however, recommended a more lenient seven to ten year state prison term.  Judge Dupuis sentenced the defendant to serve 10 to 13 years in state prison, to be followed by five years of supervised probation.

“The defendant viciously assaulted his wife with the intent to kill her. The serious injuries he inflicted left the victim physically and emotionally scarred,” District Attorney Quinn said. “This brutal and unprovoked violence needs to be severely punished and he should be locked up for as long as possible.”


Gregg Miliote

Director of Communications