James Bernard Woody, who lives in Roanoke, Virginia, has been sentenced to eight-years imprisonment for beating his pregnant girlfriend who was on crutches.
“This is my breaking point,” Woody said as he hyperventilated. “I’m not fit to take this right now.”
However the jusge said to him:
“I don’t find that to be unreasonable.”
Woody, 35, was convicted in January of malicious wounding for brutally attacking his girlfriend, Shatory Irving, when she was three months pregnant. The attack occurred June 8, 2016, in a busy southwest Roanoke convenience store. Jurors watched surveillance footage from the store which captured Woody sucker punching Irving in the head and kicking her once she’d fallen to the ground.
A cashier came to her defense and ordered Woody to leave the scene.
Doctors testified that Irving, 26, suffered a inch-long cut to her forehead that exposed part of her skull. But last fall she delivered her child, who, despite arriving prematurely, is reportedly in good health.
“She really is fortunate that she wasn’t hurt more than she actually was,” Roanoke Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney David Billingsley said.
Melvin Hill the defence attorney revealed Woody’s past diagnoses of mental illness and called witnesses who claimed that the problems began brewing long ago.
“You have to understand, it is a volatile, toxic relationship,” Hill said.
Dana Woody, his mother, said:
“My son goes in and when he comes home, he’s even sicker,” she told Clemens, adding that in January, a few days after he was found guilty, he attempted suicide in jail. She said Monday that she fears he will try again.
The judge finally ordered psychiatric treatment as part of Woody’s sentence.
“You’ve got to do something to deal with all that anger that built up with you and Shatory,” Clemens told Woody at the hearing.