A 30-year-old New Bedford man who stabbed two separate victims during two different incidents last year was sentenced last week in Fall River Superior Court to serve five to seven years in state prison, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.

Isaiah Burnett pleaded guilty to a multi-count indictment, charging him with two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and one count of witness intimidation.

On June 28, 2017 at around 3pm, a male male stabbing victim entered the New Bedford Police Department and told police he was stabbed by a male known to him as Isaiah Burnett.  The victim was driving his car and stopped in traffic when the defendant approached him, and stabbed him in the left shoulder. The defendant then followed the victim as he made his way to the police station before fleeing to Fairhaven, where the defendant was eventually arrested.  

On September 28, 2017 at around 7:40pm, police received a 911 call from a Walgreens in New Bedford regarding a stabbing.  The male stabbing victim had walked to Walgreens on Acushnet Avenue – suffering from serious stab wound to his stomach. He was taken to Rhode Island Hospital, where he was treated for a lacerated liver and pancreas.  During the investigation, police learned the stabbing occurred the next street over, on Belleville Avenue, where the mother of both the defendant and the victim's children resides.  

In a subsequent recorded jail phone call on October 12, the defendant called a friend and told him to contact the woman and tell her “not show up in court and file no charges….and, I’ll leave her alone,  I’ll put up no fight, I will not fight her for my son. I will let her keep my kid bro. Just tell her not to put me away for this.”   This call resulted in the intimidation of a witness indictment.

During a sentencing hearing last Thursday before Judge Raffi Yessayan, Assistant District Attorney Jeanne Veenstra argued that based on the fact that the defendant committed a second stabbing while out on bail, in conjunction with the fact that he has previously served committed time for crimes of violence, the defendant should serve a six to nine year state prison term.  The defendant, however, recommended a more lenient four year state prison sentence.

"This is avery violent defendant who clearly needs to be taken off of the streets. It is particularly disturbing that the second stabbing occurred after the defendant was out on bail on the first stabbing," District Attorney Quinn said. "He then tried to intimidate a witness in the case. He clearly poses a danger to the community."

Bristol County DA's Office