A man from the 2nd District area of St. Mary’s was ordered to be held without bond in the detention center on first-degree assault charges alleging he strangled his girlfriend during an argument.
Charging documents allege that James A. Spencer Jr., 23, jumped on top of the woman and began strangling her following an argument over food, to the point where she completely stopped breathing. The documents say the woman told police that she was “close to passing out from [a] lack of oxygen” and was unable to use her hands to stop him, and that Spencer said that he “ought to kill” her.
The documents say that Spencer stopped choking the woman and continued to punch her, then “began dragging her through the camper” where they resided together. After breaking free, the documents say, the woman grabbed their 4-year-old daughter, who was allegedly present during the altercation, and was able to flee.
Police allege in the charging documents that they observed bruising and swelling on the woman consistent with the allegations.
At Spencer’s bond hearing on Tuesday afternoon, former Calvert District Judge Robert B. Riddle, filling in at the St. Mary’s District Court, said Spencer could face up to 25 years incarceration for the first-degree assault charge.
Assistant State’s Attorney Laura Caspar said she would “believe that [Spencer] would be a danger to this woman and the child,” and requested for him to be held.
Representing Spencer for bond, Amber Wetzel, a public defender, said Spencer had “no history of assaultive type behavior” and said he was welcome in his parents’ home.
“The allegation is that he choked her and dragged her around the floor,” Riddle said, ordering for Spencer to be held pending his trial.
“He is a danger to her,” the judge said.
Spencer is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Dec. 24.