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Conway man loses appeal in curling iron attack
CONCORD — A Conway man, convicted in the 2010 beating and attack of his domestic partner during which he rammed a curling iron down her throat, appealed his convictions arguing, in part, that the woman should not have been allowed to testify he treated her dog better than her.
William Ramsey, 43, in appealing his convictions and his 8-to-15-year sentence, argued that Carroll County Superior Court Judge Steven M. Houran prejudiced the case against him when he allowed the victim to testify about how well he treated her dog. The Supreme Court on Monday rejected his argument, although the jurists said while the evidence concerning the dog may be of questionable relevance, it did not prejudice the case.
The woman testified she thought Ramsey loved her dog more than he loved her, that he regularly bought steaks and cooked them up for the dog and would go to fast-food restaurants just to buy the dog cheeseburgers.
"And they were very close. Probably closer than I was to her at that time," the woman testified. "I was a bit jealous."
Ramsay, convicted of second-degree assault, reckless conduct, kidnapping and criminal threatening, also argued on appeal that the judge erred in denying Ramsey's request to cross-examine the victim about an alleged false statement she made on her driver's license application and erred in imposing consecutive sentences for second-degree assault and reckless conduct.
The court rejected both arguments. It said if the judge did err in not allowing that cross-examination, it was a harmless error because it would have made no difference in the jury verdict. And, the court said, the consecutive sentences were allowed because the two charges required different evidence of proof.
Ramsey attacked the woman on Dec. 13, 2010, after they quarreled and she said she was going home. He punched the wall and yelled she wasn't going anywhere.
He then went after her in the bathroom and grabbed her by the throat. She lost consciousness and when she came to, she was in the bathtub with Ramsey on top of her, choking and beating her "really hard" with a curling iron, telling her he was going to kill her, according to the Supreme Court opinion.
The victim saw the curling iron "coming right at" her as Ramsey "shoved (it) inside of (her) throat," choking her. Again, she lost consciousness. When she regained it, she was in the kitchen, trying to scream for help although she was only able to do so "very quietly."
Eight days later, after she told Ramsey she no longer wanted any contact with him because she was afraid of him, he sent her a text message that said: "Not talking was part of our problem. Should have finished what I started last week."
The court said the evidence of Ramsey's guilt was compelling. The woman's co-worker testified that on the morning after the assault, the victim had "black eyes," bruises and cuts on her lips, red and bloody marks on her neck, and bruises on her arms.
The co-worker also testified the victim's scalp was covered in red dots. The victim sounded like she had laryngitis and she was very upset and crying, according to the co-worker's testimony.
Her supervisor testified he could barely hear her when she spoke to him a few days after the assault and that he saw bruising and red marks on her neck.
An emergency room physician who examined the woman nine days after the assault testified he saw a "small laceration" on her neck and bruises on her arms.
Ramsey admitted to grabbing the woman by her arms, using his hand to push her by the throat against the bathtub and slapping her hard several times across the face while holding her by the neck up against a wall.
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