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Decatur man strangled girlfriend and tried to stuff her inside plastic tote, police report

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DECATUR — Police said a Decatur woman was strangled by her boyfriend to the point where she “urinated herself and saw stars” before the man tried to stuff the screaming woman into a plastic tote in the yard of her home.

A sworn affidavit from Decatur police said the 42-year-old girlfriend was attacked the evening of May 5 after getting into an argument “over an extension cord in the backyard.”

The girlfriend, who described being in an on-and-off relationship with her boyfriend for two years, said the violence began with him pushing her around the house and then onto a couch.

“(She) stated (he) grabbed and squeezed the front of her neck with one hand while she was on the couch,” said Officer Kristina Kemnitz, who signed the affidavit. “She advised it was difficult for her to breathe and he held his grip until she urinated herself and ‘saw stars.’”

The boyfriend was then described as having left the house in the 1900 block of East Prairie Avenue but he returned after an hour and the argument continued. “(She) stated he pushed her backwards into a plastic tote in the driveway behind the house and tried to shut the lid on her,” Kemnitz added.

The officer described the tote as measuring 3-feet-long by 1.5-feet-tall and 1.5-feet-deep and she noted abrasions, indentations and other injuries to the girlfriend’s flesh consistent with her version of events. Kemnitz also said a neighbor had seen the woman being shoved into the box and he had heard her “scream something to the effect of ‘Don’t put me in the box.’”

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The boyfriend was booked on a preliminary charge of committing domestic battery while having a prior domestic battery conviction. A check of Macon County Circuit Court records show that he was sentenced to 24 months probation March 29 after pleading guilty to committing domestic battery while having a prior conviction for the offense.

Macon County Jail records said he remained in custody Tuesday with bail set at $75,000, meaning he must post a bond of $7,500 to be freed. If he makes bail, he is ordered to stay away from his girlfriend.

All preliminary charges are subject to review by the state's attorney’s office.


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

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