Man indicted, accused of strangling woman
A Russellville man arrested in June for strangling a female victim was indicted by the January grand jury, officials said.
Randy Charles Hill, 45, 210 Hoover St., Russellville, was indicted for domestic violence by strangulation or suffocation.
According to Franklin County District Attorney Joey Rushing, the arrest was the first one the Russellville Police Department had under a recent domestic violence statute that strengthened the punishment for domestic violence instances where chocking or strangulation is involved.
According to reports the incident took place on the evening of June 11, 2012 at a residence on the 300 block of Cherry Street in Russellville.
Russellville Police Chief Chris Hargett said when officers responded to the domestic violence call, they found a female victim who had moderate to severe injuries to her face and neck.
Investigator Lt. Scotty Lowery said the victim stated she had been choked and punched in the face by Hill.
“The victim told us that she had blacked out during the altercation, but she wasn’t sure if it was because of the choking or the blows she took to the head,” Lowery said.
Lowery said the victim was transported to Russellville where she was treated and released.
Hargett said following the investigation, warrants for Hill were obtained and, after family members of Hill made him aware that police were looking for him, he voluntarily turned himself in to authorities the following day.
Franklin County District Attorney Joey Rushing said that following the passing of this new statue in 2011, domestic violence by strangulation or suffocation is now a Class B felony, punishable by two to 20 years in prison upon conviction, as opposed to a Class A misdemeanor, which is what the offense was classified as before the passing of this new law.
“There was such a public outcry that the punishment for choking someone wasn’t severe enough because it is an act that puts a victim in serious fear for their life,” Rushing said. “It’s a horrible ordeal for someone to have to go through.
“This new statute really reflects just how serious this type of domestic violence can be in the hopes that the instances of choking or strangulation will be reduced.”
Rushing said Hill’s case would be set for arraignment on Feb 13 and placed on the criminal trial docket the first week in April