FALL RIVER — A 40-year-old Whitman man with a lengthy history of assaultive behavior who robbed and assaulted his former girlfriend in her New Bedford apartment two years ago was sentenced to serve two years in state prison last week, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.

John Howe pleaded guilty in Fall River Superior Court last Monday to indictments charging him with two counts of assault and battery on a family or household member-subsequent offense, malicious destruction of property, armed robbery and intimidation of a witness.

On February 18, 2019, the female victim called New Bedford Police to report that Howe had broken her windows and robbed her. When the police arrived, the victim showed them her broken windows and two knives on the ground. She explained that earlier that same day, Howe had come over to give her some money he owed to her.

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After giving the victim $20 in cash, they got into a verbal argument. During the argument, Howe showed her a knife in his waistband and told her to show him the money. He then grabbed the money back from her and also took some of her own money.

Howe and the victim scuffled over the money, during which time Howe hit the victim with an unknown object before leaving with the money.

Later in the day, Howe began calling her and telling her he wants to get his belongings from the apartment. The victim ignored the calls, so Howe sent a text to her cousin, telling the cousin he is going to smash the victim’s windows. A short time later, he came back to the victim's apartment and threw rocks through the windows.

Between mid-February and mid-April, Howe called the victim hundreds of times and left threatening voicemails in an effort to get her to not cooperate in the criminal case against him.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Thompson and the state prison sentence was imposed by Judge Raffi Yessayan. In addition to the prison term, Howe was also placed on supervised probation for an additional year and will be required to complete a certified domestic batterers program.

"The defendant has a history of assaultive behavior and has demonstrated that he is a danger to the victim and the community," District Attorney Quinn said.

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