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A Bangor man charged with attacking his ex-wife in August 2018 was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in prison with all but eight years suspended, according to the Penobscot County district attorney’s office.
Howard V. Williams, 55, was indicted in October 2018 by the Penobscot County grand jury on charges of attempted murder, aggravated assault, domestic violence criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon, domestic violence terrorizing with a dangerous weapon, domestic violence reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon, domestic violence assault and domestic violence criminal threatening.
In a plea agreement with Assistant District Attorney Mark Rucci, Williams pleaded guilty to aggravated assault, a Class B crime that carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
In exchange for Williams’ guilty plea, the other charges were dismissed.
Williams entered what is known as an Alford plea to the charge, Rucci said after the sentencing. He did not admit to committing the crimes as outlined in the indictments but agreed that the state had enough evidence to convict him.
Defense attorney Jeffrey Silverstein of Bangor said that his client entered an Alford plea “to contest and take positions relative to the facts without simply agreeing to the state’s version of the facts.”
In addition to prison time, District Court Judge Bruce Jordan sentenced Williams to two years of probation. If he were to violate his probation, Williams could be sent back to prison for up to two years.
Bangor police arrested Williams on Aug. 5 after he assaulted his ex-wife at her Merrimac Street apartment. Upstairs neighbors told police that they heard the woman screaming and went downstairs to try to help. At one point, a male neighbor threatened Williams with a gun and he left, according to court documents.
The victim told police that Williams tried to strangle her and threatened her with a knife. The victim had abrasions on her face, neck, arms and legs, according to court documents.
The victim did not attend the sentencing but submitted a written victim impact statement, according to Rucci.
“This office takes domestic violence crimes very seriously,” Rucci said. “I asked for a sentence of 10 years to take into account the severity of this attack.”
Williams had been held at the Penobscot County Jail since his arrest but was boarded out to the Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset.
If he had been convicted of the most serious charge of attempted murder, Williams would have faced up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.