When her estranged husband, a well-muscled professional boxer, choked and punched her so hard that he broke her cheekbone, Terasa Evans was terrified that he would kill her.
Evans wrote a letter pleading for help, which she sent to elected officials and news agencies, after the attack by Ronald D. Boyd outside a Mitchellville nightclub April 26, 2010.
“I don’t want to become a priority to the police department, news channels, social network sites, or the world only after the man I loved KILLED ME,” Evans wrote. “I don’t want my family to weep on television sharing how beautiful, caring, nurturing and full of life I was and their sorrow because my life was ended before I could live it fully.”
Five months later, on Oct. 6, Evans, 31, was shot to death outside her Hyattsville apartment. Someone wearing a hoodie fired several shots into her head as she loaded kickball gear into her car, relatives said. The killer didn’t take her purse or the car. The crime took place two days after Evans’s divorce from Boyd, 41, became final.
Later that morning, county police arrested Boyd, of Suitland, on an open warrant for violating the protective order Evans had obtained after the assault near the nightclub.
Neither Boyd nor anyone else has been charged in the killing.
But now, Boyd is about to be held to account for the beating. Although Evans could not testify, Prince George’s County prosecutors went forward with the assault case against Boyd, who waived his right to a trial by jury in favor of a bench trial.
Circuit Court Judge Maureen Lamasney quickly found Boyd guilty of first-degree assault, and on Friday she is scheduled to sentence him.
Evans was instrumental in convicting Boyd because Lamasney allowed prosecutors to use her earlier court testimony: She had described the assault when she obtained a protective order against Boyd last June.
There was a CD of the testimony, which was allowed into evidence. The judge read from a transcript in which Evans described the brutal attack.
Evans said Boyd became angry when he saw her hug a man inside the nightclub. Boyd accused her of “disrespect,” according to the transcript. Boyd cursed at her, so she and her girlfriend left the nightclub and walked to the parking lot.
As Evans tried to get into a car to leave, Boyd forced the car door shut, she said.
“He started to choke me,” the transcript says. “He choked me to the point he lifted me off the ground, and I was trying to scramble with my feet to get some type of footing because I started to see stars. I felt like I was about to lose my breath. And I started to fight at him to break him off of me.”
Evans said that she tried to hit Boyd but that he dragged her past a couple of cars. “And when he released me, that’s when he punched me twice in my face,” the transcript says. “He punched me in my left temple, and he punched me in my right jaw.”
Boyd’s blow broke her left cheekbone, and she had facial reconstructive surgery, Evans says in the transcript.
Boyd did not respond to a letter sent to him at the Prince George’s County jail. His defense attorney, Sam Serio, acknowledged that Boyd is a suspect in Evans’s slaying.
“If you had a thousand scenarios, he’s the number one target,” Serio said. But, Serio added, police have not gotten evidence tying Boyd to the killing and Boyd has denied being involved in it.
Boyd also denied beating and choking Evans when he took the witness stand in his own defense in the assault trial, on April 14.
The boxer testified that he called Evans a slut and other derogatory names, but he denied choking or punching her.
Evans and Boyd were an unlikely couple.
Evans loved kids and had built a career working as a day-care provider. According to relatives, she worked at day-care centers in the District, including at the World Bank, but wanted to own something of her own.
About 21 / 2 years ago, Evans and her aunt, Annie Barr, purchased a day-care center in Hyattsville.
Boyd, meanwhile, made his living with his fists and has spent much of his adult life in prison or jail.
In 1989, he was convicted of robbery with a deadly weapon. He was imprisoned until November 1996. In 1998, Boyd was convicted of smuggling heroin into a federal prison.
In March 2010, Boyd pleaded guilty in Prince George’s to possession with intent to distribute cocaine. He is scheduled to be sentenced on that next week.
Boyd and Evans were together for four years before separating in September 2009.
Barr and Ushika Evans, 29, Evans’s sister, are helping raise Jailyn Sekou, 12, Terasa’s daughter from an earlier relationship. Jailyn sometimes calls Ushika Evans in the predawn hours because she misses her mom, and the two go for a drive.
Evans wrote her letter to the media and the elected officials about the time that University of Virginia lacrosse player Yeardley Love was slain. Love’s body was found in her dorm room May 3, 2010. An ex-boyfriend, George Huguely V, is charged with killing her.
This is how Evans ended her letter: “And now I sob, a heart wrenching sob because I am all alone; in the darkness of my living room; tensed by every movement and sound heard; even with the additional locks I have placed in my entry way, my mind replays the last image seen before I turned the television off. That face could be mine . . . WILL I BECOME THE NEXT YEARDLEY LOVE?”