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A Darby man was charged Thursday with strangling his girlfriend and punching a puppy.

Jason Lee Trisdale, 39, appeared in Ravalli County Justice Court on a felony charge of partner or family member assault by strangulation and misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals, criminal destruction or tampering with a communication device, and violation of a no-contact order.

According to Ravalli County Deputy Attorney Thorin Geist’s charging affidavit, a Ravalli County deputy was dispatched to a report of a domestic disturbance on Trapper Meadows Road in Darby on Oct. 16 at about 4:30 p.m.

While she was talking to the woman at the residence, Trisdale came out of the garage and asked what was happening. After refusing to remain by the garage, Trisdale was detained at the scene by one officer as the other deputy went inside the home to speak with the woman and her teenage daughter.

The woman told the deputy Trisdale hit the family’s 5-month-old puppy, according to the affidavit. She showed the officer a cellphone video that Trisdale allegedly had sent to her on Sept. 14 in which he punched the puppy. He also allegedly sent text messages telling the woman that she caused him to abuse the dog.

The deputy told the woman someone had called law enforcement a month earlier and reported that they had seen her with two black eyes.

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The woman said that Trisdale had been out of the house on the night of Oct. 12 and when he returned the next morning, the couple had argued. She said Trisdale head-butted her several times and took her cellphone and Apple watch so she couldn’t contact the police.

That evening, she said Trisdale began to strangle her. She told the deputy she saw stars and thought she was going to die.

She said she was “almost there.”

The woman said she began to panic and started to hit and scratch Trisdale to get him to stop strangling her. She said he made two more attempts to cover her mouth that evening.

The affidavit said the woman said Trisdale had threatened her teenage daughter about calling the police. The girl described an incident when Trisdale had pulled her mother’s hair while they were in a car and she had tried to punch him to get him to stop.

Justice Jim Bailey set bail at $25,000.

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