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Martin City man charged in strangulation case

| June 1, 2022 6:00 AM


For the Hungry Horse News

Prosecutors have brought a Martin City man up on multiple felony charges for allegedly lifting a child by his neck and later strangling his girlfriend earlier this month.

Michael Thomas McNaught Jr. was briefly held in the Flathead County Detention Center on charges of strangulation and assault on a minor. He was released on his own recognizance on May 24.

McNaught was arrested after deputies with the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office responded to several calls reporting a “loud physical disturbance” inside a camper located in Martin City about 11:03 p.m., court documents said. Neighbors described hearing yelling and screaming.

Arriving deputies found the adult victim, McNaught’s girlfriend, suffering from injuries to her neck and head. She told investigators that the attack began after McNaught’s phone went off while he was asleep. She noticed that the incoming text messages appeared to be from another woman, court documents said.

As the phone went off, McNaught woke up, allegedly grew angry and began screaming at the victim. Hollering at her to get out, McNaught went to her sleeping son and lifted him up by the neck, court documents said.

The child was freed after his mother ran at McNaught, according to court documents. They mother and son left the camper, but McNaught allegedly followed. He put his girlfriend in a chokehold and squeezed her until she could no longer breathe, court documents said.

In an affidavit, Deputy County Attorney Andrew Clegg wrote that deputies and medical personnel on scene deemed the injuries she sustained consistent with her story.

McNaught is expected in Flathead County District Court for a June 2 arraignment.

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