Friday, October 15, 1999
Schofield soldier could face death penalty in wife’s slaying
By Gregg K. Kakesako
A 25th Infantry Division sergeant could be the first military person in decades in Hawaii to face the death penalty if convicted of beating and stabbing his wife to death.
Staff Sgt. Timothy Ward, an infantry squad leader with the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry, yesterday was charged with the premeditated murder of his pregnant 26-year-old wife, Bianca, during a fight.
Capt. Richard Spiegle, a Schofield Barracks spokesman, said an Article 32 hearing, similar to a civilian grand jury and preliminary hearing, will be conducted to determine whether a court-martial will be held.
It will be up to Maj. Gen. William Ward, commanding general of the 25th Infantry Division, to determine whether the Army will seek the death penalty.
Spiegle said he couldn’t remember the last time the death penalty in a federal military crime has been invoked locally.
Timothy Ward, 33, and his wife were going through a divorce and were expecting their second child this month. She had wanted to return to her home in Germany to await the birth of the child. They also had 1-year-old son.
On Aug. 26, Bianca Ward allegedly was repeatedly stabbed by her husband during an argument at their Helemano Military reservation townhouse.
The couple’s son is believed to have been present during the fight. She had been awarded temporary custody of their son that same morning.
She had charged that her husband used controlling behavior such as verbal intimidation, harassment and threats, denying her the use of their cars, and the phone, and preventing her access to their bank accounts.
Sgt. Ward, a 13-year Army veteran, denied threatening her. He said she left him with their son and returned to Germany in June 1998. He said she had accumulated $600 phone bills to Germany, had withdrawn large sums of money, and left their new car at the airport.
Sgt. Ward remains in the Navy’s Ford Island brig.