A 28-year-old New Bedford man who viciously attacked his fiancée earlier this year was sentenced to serve four to six years in state prison, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.
Haikeem Stephenson pleaded guilty this week in Fall River Superior Court to a multi-count indictment, charging him with aggravated assault and battery causing serious bodily injury, assault and battery on a family or household member and witness intimidation.
On February 2nd of this year, the female victim reported to New Bedford Police that on January 31 her fiancée began arguing with her. The defendant punched her in the face with a closed fist. She then grabbed her phone and told him that she was going to call the police. The defendant then slapped the phone out of her hand to prevent her from calling.
The defendant continued to beat her, punching her all over her body. The defendant then got on top of the victim while on the bed and continued punching. Once the victim was able to get up, the defendant punched her nose and she fell to the floor. The victim told police her nose began to bleed and swell immediately. The victim stated she lost consciousness for about five seconds.
The defendant then helped her to the bathroom, so she could attend to the nosebleed. While continuing to yell at her, the defendant asked her if she took the phone with her to the bathroom to call the police. The victim told police she was afraid of the defendant and that is why she didn’t report the assault right away.
During her interview with police, officers took photos of her bruises. Her face was bruised with a visible black eye. There were also bruises on her left arm, shoulder, thigh, and legs. The victim obtained an emergency restraining order and went to St. Luke’s Hospital, where she learned that she had a broken nose and was referred to a specialist.
At the time of the incident, the defendant was on probation for an assault with intent to murder case out of Fall River.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Courtney Cahill, the chief of DA Quinn’s Domestic Violence Unit, and the state prison sentence was handed down by Judge Thomas McGuire.
“It is unfortunate that the defendant did not take advantage of the opportunity for redemption given to him by the court in his previous case,” District Attorney Quinn said. “This was a brutal assault. The defendant presents a danger to the community and needed to be taken off the streets.”