Porterville domestic abuser gets life sentence

Jeffrey Spears to serve life in prison for violently torturing his partner, with convictions including domestic violence, false imprisonment and witness intimidation

PORTERVILLE – A man from Porterville has been hit with a life sentence in prison for torturing and violently assaulting his domestic partner, as well as dissuading her from calling law enforcement and urging her not to testify.

On April 12, in the Tulare County Superior Court, the court sentenced Jeffrey Spears, 45, to life in prison for domestic violence and other violent crimes.

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(Tulare County District Attorney)

On Feb. 9, prosecutors secured convictions against Spears for torture, domestic violence, false imprisonment by violence, criminal threats and dissuading a witness from reporting a crime. Jurors also found true the aggravating factors that the victim was vulnerable, that Spears unlawfully dissuaded the victim from testifying, that he took advantage of a position of trust and that he engaged in violent conduct.

The crime happened around 9:30 a.m. on Sept. 26, 2023. Tulare County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a residence in East Porterville for a report of domestic violence. When deputies arrived, they discovered the victim had visible bruising and swelling on the entirety of her face and neck. The suspect, Spears, was in the backyard and taken into custody.

Through investigation, deputies learned that three days prior, Spears started arguing with the victim over forgetting to buy cigarettes at the store and accused her of other relationship strife. For three hours, Spears punched, kicked and struck her all over her body all while threatening to kill her if she contacted law enforcement.

Spears repeatedly strangled the victim to the brink of unconsciousness, smothered her with a pillow and forcefully did not allow her to leave the residence. Eventually, she was able to go to a neighbor where she contacted a family member for help.

Prior to trial and while in custody, Spears contacted the victim and urged her not to testify. At trial, district attorney criminal investigators with expertise in domestic violence testified about the cycle of violence and the power dynamics involved in the crime.

According to current California sentencing laws, Spears must serve 25 years before being considered for parole.

The Office of the District Attorney has trained victim advocates to assist victims and survivors of violence on a path to recovery and healing. If you or someone you know can benefit from these important resources, contact the TCDA Victim Services Division at 559-636-5471.

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