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Mill Creek man faces strangulation charge

Howard

ELKINS — On Wednesday a Mill Creek man was arrested on a felony strangulation charge that stemmed from a September incident that took place in the Huttonsville area.

Matthew Levi Howard, 41, is being held in the Tygart Valley Regional Jail on a $30,000 cash-only bond, set by Randolph County Magistrate Tracy Harper.

Sgt. B.W. Cogar and Cpl. S.D. Kyle from the Randolph County Sheriff’s Department responded to a 911 call on Sept. 11 in reference to an alleged assault, the criminal complaint states. The female caller said her boyfriend had choked and hit her, and that she was able to run into the woods and call for help.

Once on scene, the officers were able to make contact with the alleged victim and were made aware of the suspect, identified as Howard. It was evident based on the physical condition of the victim that she needed medical attention, so the Randolph County Emergency Squad was called to the scene and the victim was transported to the Davis Medical Center, the complaint states..

The alleged victim was able to give verbal statements about the event and told police that she was in a cabin with her boyfriend, Howard, and another man in Kumbrabow State Forest. She stated that when she woke up from sleeping, Howard began hitting her and kicking her, according to the complaint.

She told police she was able to escape and ran to her car in the woods, but Howard located her and pulled her out of the car, the complaint states. She said Howard then drug her back to the cabin, where he stripped off her clothes and continued to hit and kick her, and hold her against her will. She said Howard and the other man both threatened to kill her, and alleged Howard began choking her to the point where she could not breathe.

She said two of her acquaintances showed up at the cabin and stepped in to stop the assault and render aid to her, according to the complaint. Photographs were taken of the victim’s injuries that were consistent with her statement of the events, police said.

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