NIH Computer Scientist Sentenced to 6 Years for Beating Woman With Hammer Over Pet Poodle

Left roommate for dead after learning dog had died


A computer scientist for the National Institutes of Health will serve six years in prison for beating a woman with a hammer and leaving her for dead, who he blamed for the death of his poodle.

In August 2014, Timothy Oliver attacked his roommate after she had been watching his Poodle Maltese mix “Teddy” when a car struck the dog. After beating her repeatedly in the head with a hammer, Oliver dragged the woman out of his apartment in a sleeping bag, and threw her cat out, too.

The Washington Post reports: 

A longtime computer scientist at the National Institutes of Health was sentenced to six years in prison Wednesday for repeatedly slamming a hammer into his roommate’s skull after learning that his dog — while under the care of the roommate — had been killed by a car.

“The fact that you would — to use your lawyer’s word — explode over something like this is pretty incredible,” Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge David A. Boynton told Timothy Oliver, 69, of Rockville. “People lose family members, people lose dogs, every day. But they don’t hit people with hammers.”

Oliver, wearing civilian clothes and with a shock of blond, curly hair, showed little emotion, then took a seat to read the terms of the sentence given to him.

The victim was left with permanent hearing loss and a titanium plate in her head.

“She was then dragged, by the defendant, covered with blood, in a sleeping bag, and dragged out of the apartment,” the prosecutor said, “adding that he put her cat out, as well.”

Oliver pleaded guilty to the attack in 2015, and was sentenced in a Montgomery County circuit court on Wednesday.

Elizabeth Harrington   Email | Full Bio | RSS
Elizabeth Harrington is a staff writer for the Washington Free Beacon. Elizabeth graduated from Temple University in 2010. Prior to joining the Free Beacon, she worked as a staff writer for Her email address is Her Twitter handle is @LizWFB.

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