Navy man pleads not guilty to domestic violence
By JESSIE STENSLAND
Whidbey News Times Assistant editor
January 6, 2012 · Updated 3:47 PM
A 31-year-old Navy man is accused of choking his wife and preventing her from calling for help, court documents indicate.
Prosecutors charged Andrew Yoakum in Island County Superior Court Dec. 22 with assault in the second degree and interfering with the reporting of domestic violence.
Yoakum pleaded not guilty Jan. 3.
Navy security officers notified Oak Harbor police Dec. 19 of a possible domestic assault at a home on Western Drive. Officer John Little investigated the complaint.
The alleged victim said that she and her husband, Yoakum, were fighting about money and his Facebook page when he got angry and allegedly broke the chair she was sitting on.
As they continued yelling at each other, he grabbed her by the throat and pushed her against the wall, according to the police report.
The woman claimed she could not breathe and briefly passed out, finding herself on the floor, Little wrote. She said she tried to call the master at arms, but Yoakum took the phone from her, the report indicates. She said he also punched a hole in a door.
In an interview with the officer, Yoakum admitted that he “lost it” and grabbed his wife by the throat, pushing her against the wall, the report states. But he claimed he did not choke her and did not put any pressure on her throat.
Yoakum also admitted to breaking the chair, taking a phone from her and punching a hole in the door, Little wrote in his report. The fight and alleged assault took place while the couple’s five children were present in the home.
At a Dec. 20 court hearing, the judge released Yoakum on his personal recognizance to VAQ 137. The judge approved a no-contact order preventing him from having any contact with the alleged victim.
If convicted of the charges, Yoakum could face from three to nine months in prison under the standard sentencing range.
Contact Whidbey News Times Assistant editor Jessie Stensland at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360.675.6611 ext. 5056.