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Wheeling Man Facing Felony Strangulation Charge for Allegedly Choking Relative

WHEELING – A Wheeling man faces up to five years in prison after allegedly strangling a relative earlier in October.

Edgar Hatten, 38, was arrested for felony strangulation of another without their consent on Oct. 9 at a residence on Diamond Avenue.

According to a criminal complaint, Wheeling Police Department officers responded to a loud argument at the residence.

Witnesses reportedly said Hatten had grabbed the relative by the hair and the front of her throat with both hands.

The relative said she could not breathe, according to the complaint, and Hatten allegedly choked her for one to two minutes until another relative punched him in the face.

Hatten’s face reportedly showed scratches and marks consistent with defensive wounds from the victim.

Hatten posted a $2,500 bond and was let free on Oct. 15 with the requirement that he have no contact with the two relatives or be present at the victim’s school, residence or place of employment.

According to West Virginia code, any person who strangles another without that person’s consent and causes the other person bodily injury or loss of consciousness is guilty of a felony. The crime involves a fine of up to $2,500 and a possible prison sentence between one and five years.

The crime is also relatively new in West Virginia law, as the state legislature passed a law defining strangulation as a felony that went into effect in June 2016. Previously, charges for strangulations were limited to malicious wounding, a felony if injuries are visible, and misdemeanors such as assault and battery and domestic assault.

A preliminary hearing for the case is set for Oct. 29 in Ohio County Magistrate Court.

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