Matthew Church, 33, of Georgetown was arraigned Wednesday afternoon in Haverhill District Court.
A Georgetown man, accused of physically abusing his 31-year-old wife who later died, was ordered held without bail Wednesday afternoon.
Matthew Church, 33, of Georgetown was arraigned Wednesday afternoon in Haverhill District Court on a charge of assault and battery on a household member following his arrest by Georgetown police Tuesday at 188 East Main St., Georgetown. According to Essex Assistant District Attorney Kim Faitella, an investigation was sparked by a telephone call Church made to his probation officer who, in turn, notified Georgetown police. Faitella told Judge Stephen S. Abany Church reported the victim fell and hit her chin on a sink after she had been drinking. However, police found the victim was not under the influence but did suffer other bruises to her arms, legs and back. She refused an emergency medical team’s suggestion to be hospitalized for concern of possible serious internal injury. Police found the victim dead during a return call.
“Police placed the defendant under arrest at that time when they were at the house and the victim refused medical attention. Her father had been contacted and he came from western (Massachusetts) to see her. When he arrived, he couldn’t get in, he contacted the police. When they went into the home around midnight, she was slumped on the floor against the bed and is deceased,” Faitella said.
Charges against Church could be upgraded pending the outcome of an autopsy. According to Faitella, police also checked the victim’s telephone text messages.
“The text messages on the victim’s phone indicated, ‘Okay if you stop beating me, my chest really hurts.’ The defendant’s response, ‘be nice, love.’ The victim then wrote, ‘You throw me around like a toy lately.’ And he indicated, ‘Oh yeah, you’re perfect. Thanks for the kicks. Please come home. I can’t,” Faitella said.
Faitella also said probable cause on the assault charge was demonstrated by a history of alleged abuse.
“All indications are this defendant has been physically abusing his wife. She is reluctant to tell as many are. That’s probable cause for the assault and battery charge that brings us here today,” Faitella said.
Carrie Kimball-Monahan, spokesperson for Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett, told WHAV Church has been on probation in connection with an alleged assault case last April out of Gloucester, which in May was continued without a finding for 15 months. The couple recently moved to Georgetown. According to Kimball-Monahan, Church violated a probation order to not abuse the victim and to enter a batterer’s intervention program. The victim’s identity is being withheld pending notification.
A dangerousness hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 8, pending appointment of a defense attorney.