Batterer charged in deaths of his mom, ex
Twisted details emerge in slays
By Jessica Van Sack and Jessica Fargen
Thursday, January 8, 2009 –
A chronic domestic batterer murdered his ex-girlfriend, dressed up her body and put makeup on her face, leaving a twisted love note in blood on the wall after killing his own mother during a weekend rampage in New Bedford, authorities said yesterday.
Gary Anthony Gomes, 35, of New Bedford was held without bail yesterday in New Bedford District Court on two counts of murder and one count of kidnapping.
On Tuesday, authorities discovered the bodies of Katherine Gomes, 61, the suspect’s mother, and his former girlfriend Robyn N. Mendes, 48, both stabbed to death.
Gomes’ body was under an inflatable mattress in her Independent Street apartment. In another bedroom lay Mendes. Nearby, there was a message scrawled in blood on the wall: “I (heart) you.”
Prosecutors allege that after killing Mendes, Gary Gomes dressed her up and applied makeup to her face.
Cops say after killing his ex-girlfriend, Gomes traveled to her Phillips Road apartment with the murder weapon and held her 12-year-old daughter hostage while lying in wait for her husband, Victor Mendes, whom he intended to kill.
“He stated that he was at peace with himself and that this had to happen,” New Bedford police wrote in court papers. “He intended to kill him and dismember him. He intended to take his time. He wanted to see him dead.”
He allegedly murdered his mother on Friday or Saturday, and Mendes on Sunday, said Gregg Miliote, spokesman for the Bristol County district attorney.
Prosecutors allege Mendes had a long history of abuse at the hands of Gomes. In 2005, he was charged with assault and battery on Mendes with a dangerous weapon, according to court records that indicate he grabbed her by the throat, threw her down and held a knife to her throat, saying, “You’re never going to leave me.”
He was sentenced to 2 years with nine months to serve in that case.
Shortly after breaking off her relationship with Gomes in 2006, Mendes was targeted again. Gomes drove his black Mercury Cougar straight toward Mendes and her then-estranged husband, Victor, who was hit. He then dragged Mendes into the woods and swamp, where she was rescued by a state police K-9 team. Cops found Gomes with his hands around her throat, according to a police report
In October 2006, Gomes was sentenced to 2 years in connection with that incident. But he was freed less than two years later, on July 28, said Bernie Sullivan, spokesman for the Bristol County Sheriff.
Gomes earned a whopping 157 days of so-called “good time” for participating in prison programs and an additional 91-day credit for time served.
Gomes was arrested Tuesday night at Mendes’ Phillips Road condo after allegedly barricading himself in a room with Mendes’ 12-year-old daughter, who was physically unharmed but told cops Gomes pushed her and refused to let her use her cell phone.