Gage Ford

Gage Ford

Gage Ford, the University of Oklahoma student accused in 2020 of assaulting his pregnant girlfriend, was found guilty Friday in Cleveland County District Court of charges related to the allegations.

A jury convicted Ford, 23, of two counts of felony assault and battery by means or force likely to cause the death of another and a misdemeanor count of assault and battery against a pregnant woman Friday. During the five-day trial, prosecutors argued Norman police’s findings, which alleged Ford hit his girlfriend Ally Stephens — including in the stomach — while she was four months pregnant.

The jury recommended prison sentences of 35 and 40 years with $10,000 fines for the felony counts, and one year incarceration with a $1,000 fine for the misdemeanor. District Judge Thad Balkman will determine Ford’s sentence at his sentencing hearing July 27.

The affidavit filed by NPD officers after the October 17, 2020 incident says Ford, who was 21 at the time, went to Stephens’ home to talk and began arguing with her. Stephens told police he hit her several times in the head, hit her repeatedly in the stomach and choked her.

He had attacked Stephens a few weeks earlier, according to the affidavit.

Stephens had bruises on her face and head after the fight. She was taken to Norman Regional Hospital, where she was treated for injuries and spoke with officers, the affidavit states.

During a 2021 court appearance, Balkman told Ford that Stephens’ injuries in photos from the investigation were some of the most horrific he had seen.

Ford fled the scene after Stephens went to the hospital Oct. 17, and turned himself in Oct. 23 after U.S. Marshals initiated a manhunt for his arrest.

According to court records, Balkman increased Ford’s bond from $250,000 to $350,000 in July 2021 after he called Stephens and asked her, “Are you nervous?” Ford had posted a bond of $1,500 after his initial arrest before Oct. 23.

During the trial, prosecutors with the Cleveland County District Attorney’s Office argued the case based on this narrative, calling Stephens, NPD officers and medical professionals who treated Stephens to the stand. Ford did not take the stand, and his attorney didn’t call any witnesses to the stand, Balkman said.

Ford is currently held in the Cleveland County jail following the guilty verdict.

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