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A Cheektowaga man will spend eight years in jail for whipping his pregnant wife bloody with a videocassette recorder cord and beating his 4-year-old son with a belt.

Tywon M. Handley, 24, of Allison Drive, pleaded guilty Wednesday afternoon to felony assault for pulling out the cord June 3 and whipping his wife, Devonna, with it more than a dozen times each on her back, upper arms and neck.

Devonna Handley, who was six months pregnant at the time, was whipped so badly that her skin split open in many places and eventually was covered in thick, crusted scabs, according to the evidence.

Police arrested Handley after the beating, but a Cheektowaga town judge released him on his own recognizance. Several days later, he was arrested again, on charges of violating an order of protection after returning to his wife's house and fashioning a belt and extension cord into two hangman's nooses, which he hung from the ceiling of her home.

He was hiding in an upstairs closet when his wife's family found him June 7, said prosecutor Lisa Bloch Rodwin, chief of the District Attorney's Domestic Violence Bureau.

Devonna Handley already had been forced to give up custody of the couple's three children because of previous abuse by her husband, Rodwin said.

Earlier Wednesday, State Supreme Court Justice John F. O'Donnell sentenced Handley to four years in jail for violating the terms of his probation on an attempted assault conviction after he beat his 4-year-old son with a belt last July.

Wednesday afternoon, Judge O'Donnell accepted Handley's guilty plea to second-degree felony assault against his wife and agreed to give him another four-year prison sentence in exchange for his plea. Handley could have received up to seven years on the charge.

The defendant will return Aug. 2 for formal sentencing. O'Donnell is expected to have Handley serve his two four-year sentences consecutively, for a total eight-year term.

Rodwin noted that Devonna Handley is now eight months pregnant and eventually hopes to regain custody of her three other children.


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