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Missoula man jailed on $100K bond for alleged strangulation, assault

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Andy Anderson

Andy Anderson

A Missoula man is being held on $100,000 bond after being arrested for allegedly assaulting and strangling his partner on multiple occasions.

Andy Alan Anderson, 42, is charged with felony strangulation and assault with a weapon. He is also charged with three counts of partner or family member assault, the third of which is a felony.

Law enforcement had two previous domestic violence-related contacts with Anderson and the survivor this year.  

In June, Anderson became violent with the survivor in an argument, including punching and slamming her against a wall, according to charging documents. He told deputies he was "MMA trained." He was charged with partner assault and was ordered to have no contact with the woman.

Months later in October, the woman called 911 and reported that Anderson had again physically assaulted her.

On Wednesday, Missoula police were patrolling near the Johnson Street Emergency Shelter. They noticed the woman exiting a car, crying. She had marks and bruising on her face. She indicated to officers she didn't want to give any more details while Anderson was nearby. Police detained Anderson, who had outstanding warrants for not appearing in the previous assault case against the same woman. 

The survivor said Anderson had physically assaulted her shortly before officers arrived, including blocking her windpipe and limiting her ability to breathe using "his favorite move." She then tried to get her backpack from the car and leave, but Anderson grabbed a razor knife and attempted to cut her when she wouldn't give the backpack to him. 

Anderson had previously told her he would kill her while she slept and that she would be found in the river, she reported. 

The woman said Anderson had assaulted her earlier that day in a way that was "a lot more brutal," charging documents said. She said he had strangled her into unconsciousness about a week prior. The two had been staying at a friend's house when they began fighting. Anderson placed her in a choke hold and cut off her air supply to the point she went limp, she told officers. She believes if she had not gone limp, Anderson would have killed her. She said Anderson has strangled her at least three times in the last year. 

Anderson described his actions to law enforcement as a "control choke" rather than a "kill you choke," and said he let the survivor go after she indicated she couldn't breathe. He denied trying to cut her with a knife, but admitted he threatened to cut the strap of the backpack so the woman wouldn't leave with it. 

State prosecution asked for $100,000 bail during Anderson's initial appearance in Missoula County Justice Court on Friday afternoon. 

"The reason we're asking that (is) based upon his prior convictions in this past year. He is a danger to this community," Missoula Deputy County Attorney Carrie Garber said. "We believe if he is released again he will continue to cause harm to this particular victim."

The public defender's office requested Anderson be released to substance addiction treatment and given a lower monetary bond. 

An arraignment is set for Dec. 13 at 9 a.m. in Missoula County District Court. 

Strangulation is a significant predictor of future lethal violence, and if someone has been strangled by a partner in the past, their risk of being killed by them is 10 times higher, according to Just Response, a project by the Office on Violence Against Women in the U.S. Department of Justice.

There are many resources available in Missoula for domestic violence survivors.

The Missoula YWCA provides 24-hour crisis counseling, emergency shelter, transitional housing, mental health counseling, legal support and support groups for victims of crime. Their phone number is 406-542-1944.

The Missoula City-County Crime Victim Advocate Program provides legal advocacy for victims of crimes. Advocates can help you obtain a restraining order, report a crime to police or navigate options available to you through the justice system. They can be reached at 406-258-3830.

UM's Student Advocacy Resource Center also provides support for survivors of violence and harassment. They offer free and confidential counseling, advocacy and a 24-hour support line at 406-243-6559. 

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