A Kellogg man has been charged with assault with intent to commit murder for allegedly strangling his girlfriend until she was unconscious, Shoshone County Sheriff’s officials said.
John A. Westfall Jr., 25, is being held at the Shoshone County Jail on $200,000 bond. His 27-year-old girlfriend, whose name has not been released, was treated for injuries to her neck.
Westfall allegedly attacked the woman on Monday, just days after he’d been released from jail pending sentencing for another crime, police and prosecutors said.
Earlier this year, Westfall was arrested and charged with felony eluding a police officer, aggravated assault and battery, said John Cossel, Shoshone County Prosecutor.
Officers had spotted Westfall and knew he didn’t have a driver’s license at that time, Cossel said. When they tried to stop him, Westfall fled to the house where the same girlfriend was.
Westfall allegedly grabbed the woman, pulled her hair and tried to use her as a shield between him and police, Cossel said.
He then fled the house, at one point nearly running his vehicle into an officer, Cossel said.
Westfall spent about six months in jail because of the incident. But his girlfriend eventually decided she wanted the prosecutor’s office to drop all charges, Cossel said.
With the woman backing out, Cossel agreed to drop the battery and assault charges against Westfall if he pleaded guilty to the felony charge of eluding a police officer, according to court records.
Westfall pleaded guilty last week. Judge Craig Kosonen then released Westfall from jail until his sentencing hearing scheduled for Jan. 27.
Shoshone County Sheriff’s officials say that by Monday night Westfall had again broken the law.
He went to his girlfriend’s home and the two ended up getting into an argument, said Lt. Spike Angle.
“She told him basically to leave and he choked her and rendered her unconscious,” Angle said.
The woman told police that after Westfall choked her, he then gave her CPR to revive her. She was then able to call her sister who called authorities for help.
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