Wednesday, November 10, 1999
Soldier ‘had feelings of hatred’ before wife’s slaying
By Gregg K. Kakesako
Ten days before Army Staff Sgt. Timothy Ward allegedly stabbed and bludgeoned to death his pregnant German-born wife, he sought the help of a mental health specialist because he was afraid he would harm her.
During the second day of an Army Article 32 hearing yesterday, Sgt. Gerald Faletic, a Schofield Barracks mental health specialist, said Ward came to him for counseling on Aug. 16 “because he had feelings of hatred … (of) wanting to hurt his wife, and felt uncomfortable talking to chaplain.”
Faletic said Ward, 33, acting platoon sergeant with Company C, 2nd Battalion, 27th Regiment, was concerned at the counseling session “about his thoughts, and whether they were normal or abnormal.”
Faletic said the 25th Division soldier was fearful his estranged wife, Bianca, would win the custody battle for their 18-month-old son, Damian, and that she would return to Germany and he would never see his son again.
Ward made another appointment for a follow-up session for Aug. 26, after a child-custody hearing.
But on that day, Ward lost the battle for his son and allegedly killed his wife. He now is facing premeditated murder charges and the possibility of a death sentence.
Bianca Ward’s body was found in the second-floor bedroom of the couple’s Helemano Military Reservation apartment. She had been stabbed repeatedly in the chest and her skull had been crushed.
After hearing 11 hours of testimony, Maj. Wally Clark, the Article 32 hearing officer, now must determine if there is probable cause to send Ward to a court-martial to face the premeditated murder charge.
Maj. Claes Lewenhaupt, one of Ward’s two defense attorneys, said in his closing argument yesterday that “this was a crime of passion and a crime of rage … not one that was coolly premeditated.”
He pointed out that since Damian was born, Ward and his wife have been in “a tumultuous divorce and custody battle,” noting Bianca in July 1998 fled the islands, taking with her Damian and large sums of money from the couple’s bank account.
Military criminal investigators during the two days of hearings said Ward filed charges in international court and in Germany to try to get his son back, charges that were dropped when his wife agreed to return to Hawaii in January.
But Staff Sgt. Benjamin Davis — who has known Ward for more than a year — said that on Aug. 26 after returning from the Family Court hearing, Ward admitted “he had lost it all” because the court had given custody of Damian to his wife.
Several hours later, just before 7 p.m., Davis said Ward came to his Waikele apartment with Damian, saying he wanted to talk.
“‘Me and Bianca got into it,'” Davis recalled Ward saying. ” ‘We had an altercation. … You have to take me to the MP (military police) station.’ ”
Under further questioning, Davis testified that Ward said “he pushed her and then he left. When he came back, he saw blood and panicked.”
“At times he was crying when he was talking, and he was like in a state of shock,” Davis said.
Maj. Saul Contreras, the prosecutor, referred to a diary — written in German and maintained by Bianca — which talked about verbal intimidation and death threats by her husband.