West Virginia (2016/2020)


WV. CODE 61-2-9d. STRANGULATION; DEFINITIONS; PENALTIES

(A) As used in this section:

(1) “Bodily injury” means substantial physical pain, illness or any impairment of physical condition;

(2) “Strangle” means knowingly and willfully restricting another person’s air intake or blood flow by the application of pressure on the neck or throat

(3) “Suffocate” means knowingly and willfully restricting the normal breathing or circulation of blood by blocking the nose or mouth of another; and

(4) “Asphyxiate” means knowingly and willfully restricting the normal breathing or circulation of blood by the application of pressure on the chest or torso.

(B) Any person who strangles another without that person’s consent and thereby causes the other person bodily injury or loss of consciousness is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $2,500 or imprisoned in a state correctional facility not less than one year or more than five years, or both fined and imprisoned.

State v Tewalt (2020), 849 S.E.2d 907

A man’s wife called the police because her husband grabbed her throat and attempted to “choke her out.” He then choked her again two months later. The court held on appeal that the detailed testimony of the Defendant’s wife about the incident overcame the Defendant’s challenge of sufficiency. The court also held that  there were no relevancy issues in introducing this evidence under Rules 401 and 402 nor a prejudicial issue under Rule 403.

Coming Soon!