A judge has sentenced a 39-year-old Ceres man to 27 years to life in prison for beating his wife. Prosecutors said the defendant threatened to kill her and her son if she reported the spousal abuse.
A jury in March found Sammy Eddie Provencio guilty of inflicting corporal injury on a spouse, making criminal threats and maliciously destroying a cellphone. Provencio destroyed his wife’s cellphone when she tried to call for help, according to the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office.
On Dec. 19, 2012, Ceres police officers responded to a report of domestic violence. A woman told dispatchers she had received a call from her sister, who had been beaten by her husband.
The caller identified Provencio as the suspect in the incident. Police learned that Provencio was on post-release supervision from a previous conviction. In August 2011, Provencio pleaded no contest to inflicting corporal injury on a spouse.
Officers arrived at the home, but everyone denied Provencio was there. The officers returned to their patrol cars to confirm the address. The victim’s sister was adamant that her sister and Provencio still were at the home, and she begged the officers not to leave.
The officers went back to the home, and a woman there slightly gestured with her hand that Provencio was at the home. The officers then found Provencio hiding in the backyard.
His wife told the officers that Provencio beat her earlier that day and several days before. Deputy District Attorney Beth O’Hara De Jong said Provencio pushed his wife down, grabbed her by the hair and punched her repeatedly in the back of the head with a clenched fist.
The prosecutor said Provencio punched and kicked his wife, leaving large bruises. Her 22-month-old son was there during the beating. Provencio told his wife, “If you call the police and I get arrested, I’ll kill you and the baby,” according to De Jong.
Provencio yelled at his wife and continued intimidating her as the officers ushered him in handcuffs to a patrol car. De Jong said Provencio sent threatening letters to his wife while he awaited trial in the Stanislaus County jail.
His wife sought refuge in a safe house in another county, De Jong said, but Provencio sent her threatening letters to her new address.
Provencio had served three prior prison sentences, and two of the convictions were considered strikes under the state’s “three strikes” law. On Friday, Provencio was serving his latest sentence at North Kern State Prison in Delano.