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O.C. man gets life for torturing wife

Over four days, he choked, beat and raped her. He was caught after a chase in Kern County.

June 30, 2007|Seema Mehta | Times Staff Writer

A Foothill Ranch man was sentenced Friday to spend the rest of his life behind bars for torturing, raping, sodomizing and trying to kill his wife over a four-day period two years ago.

Prince Edward Maryland, 42, was sentenced to at least 144 years in prison.

"It was heinous and horrific," said Susan Schroeder, spokeswoman for the Orange County district attorney's office. "When the victim says that the rapes were a relief from the beatings, that kind of says it all. The only way our community can be safe is to have this guy in prison, and, thank God, this guy is in prison for the rest of his life."

In April 2005, Maryland and his then-49-year-old wife had been married for a year. Over four days, he brutalized her, choking her three times to the point of unconsciousness. After he left and she regained consciousness, she called police, who found clumps of her hair in the kitchen and bloodstains throughout the house. Doctors treated her for fractures, burns and bruises all over her body.

Maryland was spotted in Kern County, where he led police on a chase with speeds reaching 120 mph until he spun out and was apprehended. During the trial, an ex-wife and another woman who used to live with Maryland testified that he had treated them violently.

On March 6, Maryland was convicted of attempted murder, torture, rape, penetration with a foreign object, forcible sodomy, forcible oral copulation, two counts of kidnapping, false imprisonment, aggravated mayhem, two counts of criminal threats, five counts of aggravated assault, and evading while driving recklessly.

The jury also found that Maryland inflicted great bodily injury and used scissors as a deadly weapon.

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seema.mehta@latimes.com

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