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Woman guilty in Lowell hammer attack

Posted by boston.com  November 26, 2013 11:34 AM

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This press release was provided by the Middlesex District Attorney's office

A Lowell woman pleaded guilty Friday to violently attacking a woman with a hammer, leaving the victim with permanent injuries, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan announced today.

Jessica Garcia, 35, pleaded guilty in Middlesex Superior Court in Lowell to charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon causing serious bodily injury, assault with intent to murder, and larceny over $250. Middlesex Superior Court Judge David Ricciardone sentenced the defendant to nine to 11 years in state prison with three years probation from and after her prison sentence with conditions of no use of drugs or alcohol, submission to random drug and alcohol screenings, wearing a GPS monitor for the first year, substance abuse evaluation and follow up, mental health evaluation and follow up, and stay away and no contact with the victim. The prison sentence is to be served from and after a sentence the defendant is currently serving on an unrelated case.

“This senseless act of violence was the result of the defendant’s determination to force the victim to provide her with money,” District Attorney Ryan said. “Although this phase of the case is now complete, the victim continues to suffer from the long term effects of her injuries.”

According to authorities at 6:49 a.m. on June 17, 2012 police responded to an apartment building at 220 Branch Street in Lowell where they discovered the 41-year-old victim on the floor suffering from severe head wounds. A hammer covered in blood was found near the victim. The victim had sustained multiple injuries to her head, face and neck from the claw end of the hammer. She was med-flighted to Massachusetts General Hospital for treatment.

The victim survived the attack but suffered permanent injuries, including needing a steel plate in her jaw and several scars on her face, neck and head. She also suffered two strokes.

An investigation was immediately launched by Lowell Police. The investigation revealed that Garcia and the victim were acquaintances and had been in the apartment together. An argument between the two ensued, and the victim grabbed the hammer to defend herself when the defendant took it from her and began violently and repeatedly hitting the victim with the claw side. The defendant demanded the victim’s ATM card and PIN number and threatened to kill the victim if she did not give her the correct PIN number.

The defendant fled the scene. She was later seen on bank surveillance attempting to use the victim’s ATM card. Based on additional evidence and interviews with witnesses, the defendant was arrested June 17, 2012.

She was arraigned June 18, 2012 in Lowell District Court where Judge Tobin Harvey ordered her held on $250,000 cash bail and revoked her bail on two additional open cases in Lowell District Court.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Ryan Sullivan. The Victim Witness Advocate was Kathleen Keefe.

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