A man on parole for the 1981 bludgeon murder and robbery of a 79-year-old Hampton widow was convicted by a Baltimore County Circuit Court jury yesterday of beating his wife.
Billy C. Rivenbark, 42, is being held without bail and faces the possibility of serving the remaining three years of his 16-year, second-degree murder sentence plus whatever time a judge gives him for yesterday's battery conviction. Sentencing is set for Tuesday.
Rivenbark, paroled in June 1993 in the 1981 death of Katherine H. Buress, was on trial for grabbing his wife, Sharon, by the face, shaking her violently and shoving her down on the sofa on Aug. 18.
He also had been charged with assault with intent to disable -- a felony that could have meant up to 30 years in prison -- but the jury couldn't reach a verdict yesterday.
Judge James T. Smith Jr. declared a mistrial on that count and the charge was later dismissed by Assistant State's Attorney Stephen Bailey.
Mrs. Rivenbark told police her husband accused her of having an affair and threatened to kill her before assaulting her.
The attack was not reported until the next week because she was feared for what might happen to her, Mrs. Rivenbark testified.
Rivenbark testified that he never assaulted his wife.
The conviction is a violation of parole and grounds for the parole board to force Rivenbark to serve the remainder of his sentence in Mrs. Buress' murder.
Mr. Bailey, the prosecutor, said he will ask that the judge give Rivenbark a severe sentence that would run concurrently with any sentence that the parole board decides.
"Rivenbark is an extremely dangerous person; he has had his break," Mr. Bailey said.
Mrs. Buress' body was found in May 1981 in her bedroom, tied with shoelaces and beaten.