Choking allegation results in charge

A Clinton man accused of choking his girlfriend after she threatened to leave him pleaded not guilty to two felony charges in Island County Superior Court on Nov. 16.

Jay Frees, 49, could face up to a year and five months in prison under the standard sentencing range for felony harassment and second-degree assault.

According to the affidavit of probable cause written by Island County Deputy Daniel Todd, the alleged victim reported that Frees assaulted her Nov. 9 at his Clinton home.

The woman said that Frees drank a half a gallon of whiskey and fell asleep in the morning of Nov. 8. At around 3 a.m. the next day, he woke her up and told her to come into his room, which she did because she didn’t want to wake her two small children.

The woman sat on his bed next to Frees and explained that she was going to leave him. She claims that he got mad, got on top of her, choked her and put a pillow over her face.

Frees also threatened to kill her and her daughter if she left him, court records state.

The alleged victim said her throat hurt and she couldn’t swallow for about 10 minutes after being choked. The deputy photographed a red mark on her neck.

Deputy Todd later pulled Frees over when he was driving in Freeland. Todd wrote that he appeared intoxicated and refused a portable breathalyzer.

Frees said he “never laid a hand on” the alleged victim and didn’t know why she would make up a story.

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