Monday, April 09, 2007

No Remorse

Beatrice Ward, 81, became Oregon’s second oldest prisoner last week when she was sentenced to 18 months for criminally negligent homicide in the death of Robert Carr, 89. Ward and Carr were described by a neighbor as a “loving couple,” but Carr’s family says that he was bruised on at least three occasions after fights with Ward.

Robert Carr was an ex-jockey and at 5’7" and 140 pounds he was about the same size as his girlfriend. They had been seeing each other for more than a decade. Friends say they saw each other nearly every day and often went for walks together in the neighborhood.

Last September Carr had had enough and he stopped seeing his abusive girlfriend. Beatrice Ward was not willing to take “no” for an answer. On September 13, Ward, angry that he did not come over, went to Carr’s house. She saw him drive away and followed him to a nearby Target store at Jantzen Beach.

In the parking lot Beatrice Ward charged Robert Carr and began hitting him and screaming at him. The older man fell to the pavement and received a fatal head injury.

Ward’s attorney, Scott Raivio, said that considering her advanced age and lack of a criminal record that a jail sentence was excessive. Deputy District Attorney Greg Moawad told the Oregonian, “There is no joy in sending an 81-year old woman to prison…. But I am confident that prison is the right outcome.”

Lynn Reinecker, daughter of the World War II veteran Carr said, “I hope through all of this she learns you can’t push people around.” Ward doesn’t seem to have learned any lessons, though. She was sullen and silent throughout the trial. After sentencing while she was being escorted out of the courtroom past Carr’s son and daughter all she would say is, “I’ve got my handcuffs.”

Reinecker, weeping had only one question, “What could he have said or done that he had to pay with his life.” It doesn’t look like she’ll get an answer. Beatrice Ward starts her short sentence this week.

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