Franklin Man Accused of Choking Woman, Threatening to Kill Her

| January 18, 2019

SUGARCREEK BOROUGH, Pa. (EYT) – A Franklin man is facing felony strangulation and other related charges after he allegedly choked a woman during a domestic altercation.

Court documents indicate the Sugarcreek Borough Police Department filed criminal charges against 37-year-old Kenneth David Smith, of Franklin, on Wednesday, January 16.

According to a criminal complaint, Officer Highfield of the Sugarcreek Borough Police Department, was contacted by Venango County 9-1-1 on Wednesday, January 16, around 3:50 p.m., regarding a physical domestic incident at a residence along Independent Road.

The complaint states that a female victim told 9-1-1 she was shoved into a wall and choked by Kenneth Smith. The woman said Smith left the area in a red Saturn Vue after the incident occurred.

Officer Highfield contacted the victim via phone, and she stated that Smith had just returned to the residence.

According to the complaint, the victim reported that she was in the bathtub when Smith got home and entered the bathroom and began to yell, scream, and throw clothing into the bathtub. She told police that she got out of the bathtub and exited the bathroom, and Smith then allegedly grabbed her by the neck and squeezed before throwing her against a wall.

While speaking to Officer Highfield, the victim said that Smith had just fled the residence again.

Officer Highfield checked the area surrounding the residence and did not find Smith, then proceeded to the home to speak to the victim.

According to the complaint, Officer Highfield observed several items of clothing and towels, which were “completely soaked,” on the floor beside the bathtub. He also observed physical marks on the victim’s body including bruising to her neck, reddening on her throat area, bruising on her arms, and scratches on the left side of her torso.

Smith also allegedly threatened to kill the woman if she called the police.

The victim was then transported to Sugarcreek Borough Police Station by Ptlm. Johnson where she met with an advocate from PPC Violence Free Network.

The complaint notes that while filling out paperwork for an Emergency Protection From Abuse Order, Officer Highfield was able to contact Smith by phone. Smith was asked to fill out a written statement.

According to the complaint, Smith’s stated he and the victim were arguing when the victim “came toward him.” He told police that he “pushed her away and they both fell into a wall.”

Smith was arraigned at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 16, in Magisterial District Judge Matthew T. Kirtland’s office.

He faces the following charges:

– Strangulation – Applying Pressure to Throat or Neck, Felony 2
– Simple Assault, Misdemeanor 2
– Terroristic Threats With Intent to Terrorize Another, Misdemeanor 1

Smith remains free on $20,000.00 unsecured bail.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 30, with Judge Kirtland presiding.

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