BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Officials announced that 59-year-old Cleveland DeShields was sentenced to life in prison with the first 25 years to be served without the possibility of parole for the 2018 murder of his wife, Wanda Diggins.
“This case is another heartbreaking example of the devastating outcome of domestic violence,” said State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby. “I want to encourage any resident experiencing violence in their home to immediately contact the SAO tip line at 1-877-SAO-4TIP to be connected to resources that could save their life.”READ MORE: Ravens Marquise Brown Honors Mervo Football Player Who Died Last Week
On Nov. 2, 2018, just after 11:30 p.m., crews responded to the 1700 block of N. Bentlou Street for a reported assault. Two witnesses who were inside the residence said they were drinking when the victim went to sleep on a couch in the front room and a witness fell asleep next to her.
At this time, DeShields remained seated in a chair in a neighboring room. He then moved the chair closer to the front room where the victim and witness were sleeping. Officials said the other witness asked him if everything was alright, but he did not respond.
Shortly after, the second witness ran into the kitchen stating that DeShields was beating his wife. The two witnesses called 911 and ran to look for help.READ MORE: Ravens Shut Down Herbert, Chargers In 34-6 Victory
When the witnesses returned, DeShields was gone and his wife was found on the couch suffering from extensive injuries to her head and face.
Both witnesses said that DeShields was the only other person in the room with the victim before they ran out and DNA recovered from the victim’s sweatshirt matched his.
Cell phone data also placed DeShield’s in the vicinity of the home just prior to the time of the incident. Detectives learned that he and his wife had been arguing on and off during the evening and have had several prior incidents of domestic violence.
The victim suffered significant head trauma and was transported to Shock Trauma for surgery. After months of hospital treatment, she ultimately succumbed to her injuries on May 5, 2019.MORE NEWS: COVID-19 In Maryland: More Than 800 New Cases & 5 Deaths Reported Sunday
An autopsy was performed by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner who concluded that the cause of death was multiple injuries from the assault, with complications, and the manner of death was a homicide.