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Decatur man pleads not guilty to strangling girlfriend during fight over baby

Decatur man pleads not guilty to strangling girlfriend during fight over baby

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DECATUR — Steven L. McClennon Jr., the Decatur man accused of attacking his girlfriend after flying into a rage because their baby had accidentally kicked him on his recent gunshot wound, appeared in court Wednesday and pleaded not guilty to a charge of aggravated domestic battery involving strangulation.

McClennon, 21, also pleaded not guilty to two charges of domestic battery while having a prior domestic battery conviction and two charges of aggravated battery to a pregnant victim. His girlfriend was 16 weeks pregnant with their second child when the alleged assault happened Jan. 1, according to prosecutors. McClennon also pleaded not guilty a single charge of unlawful restraint.

Prosecuting in Macon County Circuit Court, State’s Attorney Jay Scott called on Decatur police officer Andrew Holloway to describe what happened. A sworn affidavit signed by Holloway said McClennon’s 1-year-old daughter had been lying on the floor near her father when one of her kicking legs accidentally connected with the site of a two-week-old gunshot wound to his back.

Holloway said McClennon had “spanked” the baby as punishment and then attacked her mother when she protested what he was doing. He was described as strangling the 19-year-old woman for 10 seconds before repeatedly punching her in the face, grabbing her in a “bear hug” to stop her fleeing and then biting her on the back, leaving a bleeding wound.

McClennon was represented by Chief Public Defender David Ellison, who appointed public defender Scott Rueter as the trial defense counsel.

Judge James Coryell said he had heard sufficient evidence and put it on the trial list of Judge Jeffrey Geisler. A pretrial hearing was scheduled for Jan. 28. McClennon remains held in the Macon County Jail in lieu of posting $75,000 bond.

In a previous Herald & Review story on the case, Detective Sgt. Chris Copeland with Decatur Police said McClennon had been shot in December in an incident that remains under investigation.

2018 mug shots from the Herald & Review

Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid


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