by Miko Santos/Asianjournal.com
JERSEY CITY — A Jersey City man and army veteran was sentenced to 18 years for mercilessly beating to death his Filipina wife in a jealous rage last year.
A forlorn Nicaragua-born Eddy A. Casco, 29, of Sip Avenue, Jersey City wept openly as State Superior Court Judge Peter Vasquez read the sentence, 18 years, the maximum recommended by the state in the plea agreement.
Casco pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter in the death of Teris Casco, 33, who suffered 21 rib fractures, a broken nose and brain damage at the hands of her husband in their apartment early on Jan. 20, 2007.
“I knew what I did was wrong,” said Casco, almost too emotional to speak, before being sentenced. “I never meant to hurt my wife. Sometimes people say things to each other, you don’t’ know how they are going to react to them.”
“I just want to get this over with, move on with my life,” said Casco.
The defendant’s lawyer, Peter Willis said that he did his best to get him the plea deal as he believed that if they went to trial the results would be devastating to Casco and would cause undue stress to his family.
Willis said that Casco in his grief and remorse attempted suicide by tying a rope on a light fixture and tried to hang himself but due to his weight the fixture gave way.
Willis in a further attempt to reduce the sentence mentioned Casco’s 9 years of service to his country, the 911 call, the emails that proved Teris’ alleged affair that led to the brutal killing, and his statements to authorities.
Hudson County Assistant Prosecutor Steven Dill refuted the statements made by Casco’s lawyer, saying that there were no marks at all on Casco’s body regarding his attempted suicide.
Dill also mentioned the time lapse from when Casco called 911, he did so by 11am the next day, when his two kids went to see their mom and asked if she was alright.
Dill also noted that Casco’s service in the army, not being shipped to war but being stationed the whole time in Hawaii.
Dill likewise noted how a lot of people have known of the abuses but no one came forward, no one went to the police.
“The saddest thing about it was this was something that was increasing and eventually he was going to snap and no one who knew about it picked up a phone and called police,” Dill said.
Nina Nguyen Lagac of the Filipina Women’s Network (FWN) made a statement on behalf of Teris Casco’s family urging the court to impose the maximum penalty.
“We urge this honorable court to impose the maximum sentence as recommended by the state in the plea agreement. We further believe that such an apt
sentence will be a deterrent to batterers and would encourage victims of domestic violence to come out, speak up and no longer be afraid,” Lagac said.
Casco was given the chance to speak and said that he was remorseful and wanted this to be done and over with and for him to get on with his life.
In the end, Vasquez gave the maximum sentence of 18 years with a chance of parole after serving 15 years.
Teris Casco died at the hands of her husband, suffering broken ribs, broken nose, and brain hemorraging in their apartment in Sip Avenue, Jersey City early on Jan. 20, 2007.
The couple were happily celebrating Teris’ 33rd birthday at a bar near their home the evening of January 19. When they got home, reports say Casco confessed to an affair, which he said he had already ended a month earlier.
Teris told her husband she wanted to go to Hawaii for two weeks to be with her family and to sort things out. The discussion about the future of their relationship turned violent.
Casco admitted in court that he and his wife were arguing in their bathroom when he struck her at least three times in the face and she fell into the bathtub. He then stomped on her several times before picking her up and carrying her to the bed. Once in bed, he elbowed her in the face at least three times and heard her nose break.
Later that day the couple’s two young sons returned home from a baby-sitter. One of the boys saw his bloody mother in bed and asked what was wrong. Casco told the boy she was sick, then called 911, but it was too late.
“The tragedy of Teris’ death is that individuals who knew about the domestic violence in the Casco home never picked up a phone and called police. Teris did not have to die, and her death is an example of how silence can kill,” the Filipina Women’s Network (FWN) said in a statement.
One relative told police on the day of the killing that Eddy Casco had assaulted Teris in the past but police had never been notified, reports said.
“Individuals and organizations came together to find ways on how to break the silence, the cycle of shame and to effectively confront the high incidence of domestic violence in Filipino homes,” said Marily Mondejar FWN head.