MANATEE -- A man was arrested Friday after his wife was admitted to the hospital with severe injuries, including shallow stab wounds to the neck and chest, two black eyes, two herniated discs in her upper spine, multiple broken ribs and bruises all over her body, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.
William J. Shepard, 50, lives with and is married to the victim and they have children together. On Dec. 6 at 6:43 p.m. the two got into a fight and a neighbor saw the victim stumbling down the street in the 6200 block of Macaw Glen in Lakewood Ranch, disoriented and covered in blood, according to the arrest report.
The victim asked the neighbor for help and said multiple times, "He's going to kill me," deputies said.
"(The victim) had a large 'goose egg' bump on her forehead, multiple bruises on her face and body and she was bleeding from the neck," the report stated. "Her shirt was soaked in blood and her entire face was swollen."
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The victim told the neighbor she was afraid of her husband and needed to get away from him. The neighbor told her husband to call law enforcement while she stayed with the victim, who was having trouble standing on her own and had to sit in the street, deputies said.
Shepard then came out of their house and began screaming and swearing at the victim to get back in the house, according to the report. The victim "begged him to leave her alone," and then Shepard came at her, grabbed her and tried to pull her into the house.
The victim kicked and hit at Shepard and the neighbor told him to let her go, but Shepard ignored them, according to deputies.
The neighbor's husband came back out of the house and physically pushed Shepard off of the victim, according to the report. He and other neighbors who had come outside due to the commotion and kept Shepard away from the victim.
Shepard continued to yell that the victim was a liar and that she had hurt herself. The neighbor told deputies that the victim "cowered" at the sound of his voice.
The victim then changed her story and said her injuries were self-inflicted. When deputies arrived she continued to say that she had hurt herself. She was transported to the hospital.
Hospital staff said on Friday that the victim had injuries including shallow stab wounds to the neck and chest, two black eyes, two herniated discs in her upper spine, facial bruising, multiple broken ribs and bruises all over her body. Since being admitted the victim has not been able to walk on her own and uses a walker.
The victim has continued to refuse to cooperate with law enforcement, saying she hurt herself.
"Through my training and experience as a domestic violence detective, I have learned that abuse victims who experience this type of trauma often try to protect their abuser by lying, omitting details or refusing to disclose what happened," the deputy wrote in the report. "In this incident, the injuries that (the victim) sustained are not consistent with the explanation that they were self inflicted."
Shepard was arrested Friday evening and charged with domestic battery. He is being held in the Manatee County jail on $25,000 bond.