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Corvallis man held on $100,000 bond for allegedly strangling woman
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Corvallis man held on $100,000 bond for allegedly strangling woman

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A Corvallis man trained as an MMA fighter faces charges he strangled a woman and assaulted a child.

Corby James Mercer, 37, appeared Thursday in Ravalli County Justice Court on felony counts of strangulation of a partner or family member and assault on a minor.

According to a charging affidavit, the Ravalli County 911 Center received 911 calls at about 4 p.m. on May 5 from Mercer and his neighbor that Mercer’s wife and son were hiding in a barn and might be injured.

People gather at the Big Horn County Courthouse to remember the hundreds of missing and murdered Indigenous people.

Two Ravalli County Sheriff’s deputies found the two hiding behind a neighbor’s home. The woman had several small cuts and abrasions on her arms, hands and face and a diagonal abrasion across her chest that started at her left shoulder.

The woman told the deputies she walked to the corner to meet her 6-year-old son at the school bus stop and found Mercer sitting in his truck. While the woman and boy walked home, Mercer followed in his truck.

The affidavit said Mercer followed the two into the house, where an argument ensued. Mercer allegedly pushed the woman to the floor and continued to yell at her as she retreated to her bedroom.

The woman said she saw her son watching the fight. She took the truck keys and dropped them out the window as an exit plan.

When the woman informed Mercer that she was calling law enforcement, the affidavit said he entered the room, grabbed the phone and threw it to the ground. The deputies were shown the woman’s phone, which had a broken screen.

At that point, the woman said Mercer grabbed her from behind and allegedly threw her to the floor again before getting on top of her and covering her mouth and nose with one hand and grabbing her neck with the other, the affidavit said.

The woman told the deputies that Mercer is a “trained MMA fighter.” She said she couldn’t breathe, that her vision faded and she saw stars. The woman said Mercer was in a “stage of rage” and she saw the “vein popping out” on his forehead.

After Mercer got up and left the room, the woman said she jumped out the window and ran to her truck.

She found the boy hiding inside the truck. The affidavit said Mercer came outside and began chasing the woman around the truck. She eventually got inside and began to drive away.

The woman was unaware that Mercer was in the back of the truck until the rear window of the truck “exploded” into the cab of the vehicle. When she stopped, the woman said she saw Mercer in the back of the truck.

She and the boy ran and hid behind the barn at a neighbor’s home. The neighbor asked them to come inside. The neighbor called 911 and began tending to the woman’s wounds.

The boy told an deputy that he saw Mercer throw his mom to the floor, according to the affidavit. The boy said he snuck outside to the truck and that he saw Mercer punch out the back window. The boy had cuts on his leg and foot.

The affidavit said Mercer admitted “getting physical” with the woman, but said it was because she was throwing jars at him. Mercer said the back window was broken because the woman slammed on the brakes and caused him to fall forward and hit the window.

Ravalli County Justice Jennifer Ray set bail at $100,000. She also required that Mercer be fitted with a GPS collar if he is released from the detention center.

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