By Julietta Bisharyan
FRESNO – A man was charged with assaulting and threatening to kill his girlfriend and throwing her body into their pool—and allegedly saying he wanted to see her “last breath,” according to evidence presented here during a Fresno County Superior Court hearing.
The defendant, John Robert Waterman, was charged with four other counts, including corporal injury to spouse/partner, criminal threats, and false imprisonment with violence and assault by means to likely to produce great bodily injury.
Before the hearing began, Waterman indicated that he had hired private attorney Kenneth Michael Fitzgerald, who is willing to represent him if the court was willing to push the arraignment out within the next 30 days, which the court eventually did.
But in the meantime, according to police reports given to Deputy District Attorney Heather Spurling, the defendant and alleged victim had been dating for four years. The two also lived together during the time of the incident.
As stated by the alleged victim, the initial argument involved a cell phone. The defendant became angry and wrapped his arms around his girlfriend’s waist, holding her arms down. He then threw the victim over the couch, causing her to fall on the floor and hit her head.
Waterman, she said, then climbed on top of her and struck her in the face about four times with a closed fist. He then covered her mouth and nostrils with one hand, preventing her from breathing, while telling her, “You’re going to die just like this. I’m going to throw you in the pool and nobody is going to know any different. I wanna see your last breath.”
The alleged victim later told police that she knew at that moment he was going to kill her.
Waterman then began dragging her to the living room area, in the direction of the door that leads to the pool.
The defendant suffered a horizontal cut across the bridge of his nose, while the victim had visible injuries, including discoloration and swelling in her eye.
Waterman’s criminal history includes three misdemeanors in the years 2004, 2007 and 2018, two of which are DUIs.
Judge Glenda Allen-Hill issued a criminal protective order without prejudice, which prohibits the defendant from contacting or seeing the victim as of today’s hearing.
Waterman asked that the court change it to a peaceful contact order since he and the alleged victim had been residing together within the last few months. The judge denied his request until the next court date when his attorney will be present.
The bail schedule for this matter is set at $70,000 but because of the emergency bail order in response to COVID-19, the bail was reduced to $60,000. Waterman had posted bail for $30, 000, which the court said it will further address Aug. 6, 2020 at 8:30 am.
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