NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — A former New Bedford man convicted of assaulting a woman with a tire iron nearly two decades ago will spend at least eight years behind bars, according to Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn.

David Reed, 54, pleaded guilty last week to armed assault with intent to murder, armed robbery and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

Reed bludgeoned the victim with a tire iron in June 2003, according to Quinn. The victim told investigators Reed stole her purse before leaving her for dead.

More than a month later, Quinn said the victim spotted Reed circling her neighborhood in his truck.

The woman called her family and friends, who Quinn said all climbed into a minivan and began following Reed’s truck.

The victim’s friends and family were able to flag down an officer, who Quinn said immediately called for backup.

Quinn said officers attempted to stop Reed’s truck, however, he hit one of their cruisers while trying to escape.

Reed was arrested and charged with robbery and assault, but was later released on bail. Quinn said Reed fled the state in May 2004 and settled in Alabama, where he was eventually arrested in 2015.

Despite catching Reed, the charges against him were dropped soon after investigators learned the victim had died six months prior to his arrest, according to Quinn.

Quinn said Reed was convicted of felony bail-jumping and sentenced to at least three-and-a-half years in prison.

But investigators would later corroborate the details through several witnesses and sources, many of which indicated that Reed had admitted to assaulting the woman, according to Quinn.

Reed was sentenced to serve between eight and 12 years in prison for the assault.

“[Reed] brutally assaulted the victim with a tire iron, causing serious injuries that could have resulted in her death,” Quinn said. “Unfortunately, the victim died shortly before his arrest, but I hope this sentence brings some solace to her relatives and friends that justice was finally served.”

Reed is also awaiting trial in connection with the 2001 killing of his half-sister, Rose Marie Moniz, after new DNA evidence linked him to the crime.