A 45-year-old man was convicted of beating, suffocating with a pillow and burning his girlfriend with cigarettes over a three-day period in Santa Ana as he prevented her from leaving, according to court records obtained Tuesday.
Gavin John Duffy was convicted Monday of corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant, torture, and false imprisonment, all felonies. Jurors also found true sentencing enhancements for causing great bodily injury in a domestic violence incident.
Duffy was scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 26.
Over a three-day period starting April 13, 2018, Duffy attacked the victim repeatedly, punching her 40 times, pulled her hair multiple times and suffocated her with a pillow three times, according to prosecutors in a trial brief.
“While defendant was pushing the pillow into the victim’s face, he was screaming that she was cheating on him,” Deputy District Attorney Elise Levy wrote in a trial brief.
The victim attempted to shout for help and kicked her legs, “but this caused the defendant to push the pillow down harder onto her face,” Levy said.
Duffy also burned the victim with cigarettes about five times on various parts of her body, “including once on her face,” Levy said.
The victim “attempted to escape the room multiple times, but defendant physically blocked the door, preventing her from leaving,” Levy said. “When the victim attempted to leave the room or scream for help, defendant would continue to batter and assault her, leaving victim in fear for her life.”
The victim said she lapsed in and out of consciousness, and once when she woke on April 16 she realized her captor was gone so she called for help and the landlady heard her and helped take her to a local emergency room, Levy said.
When the defendant returned home he asked the landlady where the victim was, and she told him the victim was in a hospital, Levy said. Duffy denied assaulting her and said she showed up at his door battered, Levy said.
Duffy allegedly sent her a string of text messages on April 23, 2018, apologizing, Levy said.