BANGOR – A local man admitted in court on Tuesday he strangled his ex-wife after a night of drinking and will spend much of the next decade behind bars.
Prosecutors said Howard Williams, 55, got upset about some racial slurs reportedly slung at him at Brewster’s Fine Food & Drink in Brewer, and decided to beat and strangle his ex-wife repeatedly because she didn’t defend him.
“Her bruising and injuries and the damages inside the apartment are consistent with her explanation that this was a prolonged beating and assault,” Judge Bruce Jordan said at Williams’ plea and sentencing. “She was thrown around the kitchen, she was dragged down the hall and then was choked off and on over the course of 15 to 20 minutes.”
Williams was originally charged with attempted murder after the August 2018 attack.
“Mr. Williams entered a plea and was sentenced on one count of Class B aggravated assault, which carries a sentence of a maximum of 10 years to the Department of Corrections,” said Mark Rucci, an assistant district attorney for Penobscot County.
“The impact on the victim here is substantial,” the judge said. “She was clearly traumatized by this entire event and has serious concerns about his coming back out and something happening.”
Defense attorney Jeffrey Silverstein read several letters in support of Williams and a former girlfriend also gave a positive statement before the sentence was handed down.
“The court finds the appropriate sentence here is the 10 years in prison,” Jordan said. “I’m going to suspend all but eight years, eight years to serve, two years of probation afterward.”
Rucci said the state was happy with the sentence.
“We take issues of domestic violence extremely seriously in Penobscot County,” he said. “And I would just add that we couldn’t have done without some really dedicated law enforcement at the Bangor Police Department who did great work on this case.”