Articles Posted in Assault

October 19, 2017

Felony Strangulation And Simple Assault Charges Dropped

By Brian Manchester

The felony charges against 47-year-old Steven M. Willits of Bellefonte were dropped after he entered a guilty plea to harassment.

Willits was facing felony and misdemeanor charges from December 2016, after an alleged altercation. However, the judge now ordered him to pay a fine along with court costs.

On September 18, Willits pleaded guilty to one summary count of harassment and was ordered to pay a fine of $50, along with $1,004 as restitution and other court costs.

Earlier in January this year, Willits was charged with felony strangulation after reports of an altercation.

The criminal complaint filed by state police at Rockview stated that a trooper was dispatched to the 500 block of Valley View Road in Benner Township at about 4 p.m.

The female resident at the scene reported that she had been in an argument with Willits. She stated that when she went down into the basement, Willits reportedly grabbed her from behind and “took her to the ground.” He allegedly took her cell phone and used it to hit her in the back of her head.

The woman then grabbed her phone and tried to call 911 when Willits began choking her and hitting her head on the floor. Moments later, he released her and ran off.

When police arrived, they observed that the woman had suffered several injuries.

Willits was taken into custody at about 4:30 p.m. the same day.

He was later arraigned before District Judge Steven Lachman and faced multiple charges including a felony count of strangulation, a summary count of harassment, as well as a misdemeanor charge of simple assault. His bail was set at $25,000.

However, after Willits entered a guilty plea to harassment this month, the counts of felony strangulation and misdemeanor and misdemeanor simple assault were dismissed.

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