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Hamilton man charged with strangling woman
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Hamilton man charged with strangling woman

Derrick Allen Dinehart

Derrick Allen Dinehart

A Hamilton man was arrested Sunday after a woman reported that he had strangled her after she threatened him with calling the police.

Derrick Allen Dinehart, 25, appeared Monday before Ravalli County Justice Jim Bailey on a felony charge of strangulation of a partner or family member and a misdemeanor count of partner or family member assault, second offense.

A charging affidavit said a sheriff’s deputy responded to a reported domestic disturbance at Dinehart’s residence on June 21.

Dinehart’s girlfriend told the deputy the two had argued over Dinehart’s alleged infidelity. She said when she attempted to leave the apartment, Dinehart physically restrained her for about an hour.

The affidavit said she eventually was able to leave with her son and slept in her car for about three hours before returning to the apartment.

After returning her son to his crib, the woman said she lay down on a futon in the living room. She told the deputy that Dinehart came in and took the blankets and pillow she was using, which led to an argument.

She said she took Dinehart’s phone from him and said she was going to call law enforcement.

At that point, the woman said Dinehart pulled her off the futon. As she stood up, he allegedly tackled her from behind and put his right arm around her neck in a chokehold. The woman said she felt pain, couldn’t breathe and thought she was going to pass out. She told the deputy her throat still hurt.

The deputy observed redness on the front of the woman’s neck and a purple mark on the back of her right shoulder.

Dinehart left after the woman called 911.

He was located at his parents' house. When interviewed, Dinehart said the woman had bitten him on his right forearm. He said she bit him when he had his hands around her waist.

The deputy did not see any marks consistent with the injuries described by Dinehart, the affidavit said.

Bailey set bond at $7,500.


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Two accidents south of Hamilton – one that included a fatality – closed Highway 93 from Skalkaho to Lake Com for four hours Sunday. Montana Highway Patrol troopers also responded to a serious crash allegedly involving a drunk driver later that day south of Florence.

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