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Theodore Couser, 65, pleaded no contest to two counts of malicious wounding.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
A Roanoke man who has spent four decades in prison on Tuesday drew an additional four years behind bars.
Theodore Couser, 65, pleaded no contest in February in circuit court to two counts of malicious wounding, following an Oct. 1 incident in southwest Roanoke.
At that plea hearing, prosecutors said police were called to the 1000 block of Chapman Avenue after a witness reported hearing shouts. The witness later told police he’d seen Couser standing over a woman with a metal rod in his hand. The woman had been struck five to six times, but her injuries were not life-threatening, prosecutors said. Another woman told police she too had been attacked by Couser, and she received hospital treatment for a similar head wound.
Couser was arrested the following day, about two blocks from the scene.
At Tuesday’s sentencing, Couser claimed he’d confronted the two women because of a theft he said they had committed against a friend of his.
“I got caught up in this street life,” he testified. “I’m sorry this whole thing came about. I forgive them for what they did.
“I hope one day they’ll be able to forgive me,” he said.
Roanoke Commonwealth’s Attorney Donald Caldwell asked Judge William Broadhurst to sentence Couser to 11 years for the offenses.
“I’m just going to be warehoused,” Couser told the court from the stand, citing his advanced age and his history of incarceration.
“I’ve spent 40 years out of 65 years in jail,” he added. “Every step forward, I take two steps back.”
Couser was convicted of robbery in Roanoke in 1965, at age 17, and served about a year, according to court records. In 1967, he was charged with beating and robbing an armed guard who was making a bank deposit and was sentenced to 70 years in prison. Couser was paroled in 1982, but that was revoked less than a year later for reasons that remain unclear. He was released from custody in 2005.
Couser was convicted of alcohol-related offenses in Roanoke in 2007, 2009 and twice last year, according to online court records.
Broadhurst gave him two years to serve on each wounding charge, with six years in suspended time and two years probation.
“But for a misplaced blow, you could’ve killed those women,” Broadhurst told Couser.
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