Gage Ford, 21, of Muskogee is charged in Cleveland County District Court of two felony counts in a case where he is accused of beating his 19-year-old pregnant girlfriend and threatening to kill himself, according to documents filed with the case.
The victim, Ally Stephens of Norman, who is in her second trimester of pregnancy, filed a protective order against Ford on Oct. 1, telling police that Ford had repeatedly kicked her in the stomach, telling her to “get rid of it”. Police arrested Ford and the Cleveland County district attorney charged him with misdemeanor domestic assault and battery against a pregnant victim, even though Stephens also said he choked her, a felony.
Though the DA requested a $30,000 bond, Judge Scott Brockman set his bond at $1,500, which Ford made the same day without doing even a day in the county jail.
Oct. 17, Stephens was admitted to a Norman hospital with severe injuries after Ford allegedly attacked her again.
District Attorney Greg Mashburn blamed the low bond amount for Stephens’ second alleged run-in with Ford. A lethality report from the Norman police stated that Ford threatened to kill the victim and tried to commit suicide, which should have resulted in his bond being much higher, the DA said.
“We have a victim who is beaten unrecognizable, and this didn’t have to happen. We get in front of these judges, we ask them to listen to our victims and listen to us, and our judgement,” Mashburn told Oklahoma City TV station News on 9. “I have to do something for the victims, and I have to be able to tell them that I tried...I just can’t say oh well the judge just decided not to do that when I see a pattern that puts people at risk.”
Brockman has stated on the record that he does not believe in holding suspects on bond before trial, Mashburn said.
Ford is now charged with two felonies: Domestic abuse with a prior pattern of domestic abuse, and domestic assault and battery by strangulation. His misdemeanor charges have been dropped and incorporated into the new felonies. A warrant has been issued for his arrest, and Stephens has filed a second protective order against him.
Ford himself was the subject of a 2004 protective order where his mother alleged her estranged husband told her he was going to kill her and was choking her until Gage Ford, 8 at the time, woke up and begged him to let his mother go. She also alleged the husband told her if she called police he would kill her before they could arrive.
Ford has not been re-arrested yet. He did not respond to a call for comment.