FALL RIVER — A New Bedford man has been sentenced after he was arrested for slashing his wife's throat during an argument in 2017.

The Bristol County District Attorney's Office says John Mello, 59, of New Bedford, 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.

Mello was sentenced to serve up to 13 years in state prison.

On September 9, 2017, New Bedford Police received a 911 call from the victim's adult daughter stating that Mello had just tried to kill her mother. Upon arrival, police found Mello in the backyard where he was repeatedly saying that he tried to kill his wife and had slashed her throat with a box cutter.

The victim was found with serious injuries to her neck, back, and arm. The injuries were received during an argument between Mello and the victim. As she tried to leave, Mello tackled his wife and slashed her multiple times with a box cutter. One of the injuries was a complete and deep slash in her neck from ear to ear. The victim was left with serious scars and severe post-traumatic stress disorder.

Prosecutors argued that Mello be sentenced to 18 to 20 years in prison due to the viciousness of the crime and the long-term impact on the victim. The defense argued for a more lenient seven to ten year state prison sentence. Judge Renee Dupuis sentenced Mello to serve ten to 13 years in state prison with five years of supervised probation upon his release.

“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 Thomas Quinn III said. “This brutal and unprovoked violence needs to be severely punished and he should be locked up for as long as possible.”