A man locked up for allegedly strangling his girlfriend now is accused of telling her not to cooperate with the investigation during nearly two dozen phone calls from jail.
Gregory C. Faris, 45, of Pasco, faces a May 27 trial in Franklin County Superior Court on the new felony charge of tampering with a witness.
His other case for second-degree assault with domestic violence has the same trial date. He has pleaded innocent to both charges.
Pasco police responded to Eighth Avenue and West Sylvester Street at 11:42 p.m. March 25 for reports of a disturbance. Officer Jed Abastillas said he arrived on scene to find a woman crying and shaking as she hid behind Sgt. William Parramore’s patrol vehicle.
The woman started to ramble about Faris strangling her while she was driving, which caused her to briefly lose consciousness, according to court documents. She told Abastillas that after she came to, Faris punched her in the head.
The two had been dating for one year and the woman claimed they were arguing about money, with her refusing to give Faris $20 for drugs, documents said.
She told Officer Jeffrey Cobb that Faris said “You are going to die” as his hands were around her neck, and she was afraid he would follow through on this threats, court documents said. Police noted red marks on her neck and a large bump on her forehead, which reportedly matched the account she gave. The woman requested a no-contact order against Faris.
Faris told Abastillas the argument was about losing her phone and that his girlfriend attacked him. He claimed he was in the passenger seat facing forward when his girlfriend backhanded him with her right hand as she was driving, court documents said.
Faris allegedly made his first phone call to the victim’s cell phone just 43 minutes after he was booked into the Franklin County jail, followed by dozens more over several days.
Faris was heard on jail recordings telling the woman that she needed to tell the prosecutor and the courts she was not going to cooperate, no matter what they said to her in the investigation, court documents said. He would also threaten her and plead with her to bail him out.
The victim became uncooperative with police, telling a detective she wouldn’t do anything to help with the case against Faris, documents said.
Faris now is held on $20,000 bail after the new allegations came to light.