Crime

Kennewick man sorry for strangling boyfriend

A Kennewick man apologized for strangling his boyfriend after finding unfamiliar numbers on his cell phone.

Byron Anthoni Garcia, 21, had been charged with second-degree assault.

However, prosecutors dropped it to fourth-degree assault domestic violence since Garcia's partner "wanted nothing to do" with the case or a trial, said Deputy Prosecutor Anita Petra. Also, there was "no actual injury that could be observed" on the victim, she said.

Court documents state that Garcia had been drinking May 9 when he checked his partner's cell phone. The two got into a fight and Garcia reportedly grabbed the man's throat and strangled him to stop him from talking.

"I want to say I'm sorry for my actions," Garcia told the court. He has a similar conviction from November in which the same man was the victim.

Defense attorney Sal Mendoza Jr. said his client has had "incredible family support" and appreciates the charge being reduced.

"He really understands the gravity of what he's done," and knows it easily could have resulted in a felony conviction, Mendoza said.

Garcia was sentenced to 60 days in jail with 305 days suspended. He was also ordered to be evaluated for a yearlong domestic violence perpetrator treatment program.

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