A North Hollywood man, who reportedly started beating his wife seven hours after their September, 1984, wedding ceremony and knocked her unconscious last August, was sentenced Friday to four years in state prison for felony assault.
Judge Darlene Shempp of Van Nuys Superior Court imposed the maximum sentence on Loman Lavern Null, 45, saying Null exhibited "a high degree of cruelty, viciousness and callousness."
The victim, Sylvia Keenan, 45, told a probation officer that she left Null six weeks after their wedding because he was violent and abused alcohol. Keenan said the two had dated for several months before they were married and Null exhibited no signs of violence. Hours after they were married, she told authorities, he began beating her.
One attack in October, 1984, prompted the filing of a misdemeanor battery charge against Null, court records show. While that matter was awaiting trial, Keenan obtained a restraining order to prevent Null from harassing her, records show.
But, on Aug. 7, 1985, as Keenan was leaving a friend's apartment, Null attacked her and said, "You'll never live to testify against me," according to a probation report.
Keenan suffered severe bruises and a concussion in the attack and remained unconscious for 11 hours, the report states.
Claimed Reports Were False
Null claimed in his defense that he was with a girlfriend the day of the August attack and could not have been the one who attacked Keenan. He also maintained that Keenan had filed several false reports against him during the previous year.
A Van Nuys Superior Court jury convicted Null in December of felony assault and battery in connection with the August beating. Keenan and Null's divorce is pending.
Two of Null's former girlfriends submitted statements to the probation officer saying that they, too, had been beaten by Null. They urged the judge to impose the maximum sentence.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Deborah L. Kranze told the judge that, although it is unusual for the maximum term to be levied against a defendant with no felony record, "If anyone deserves it, this defendant does."
Kranze said Null is "a man who has never come to terms with his own violence. He is a dangerous man, and there is no reason to think he would not victimize the next woman in his life."