A Prescott man is being charged with strangulation and suffocation, false imprisonment and disorderly conduct after verbally abusing, threatening and strangling a woman, according to Prescott police.
35-year-old Eric P. Keeler had been reportedly drinking all day May 19 and threatened the woman by making statements about murdering her and her family before strangling her in a bedroom.
Keeler's daughter walked into the room, prompting Keeler to release the woman.
At a May 31 arraignment, Keeler pleaded not guilty on all counts and was bound over for trial. A $5,000 cash bond was posted June 4 and Keeler will appear in Pierce County court again for a pre-trial conference July 25 at 3:30 p.m.
According to a criminal complaint:
The victim gave her report May 20 to Prescott police, the day after the crime, with a Turningpoint representative present.
The victim's daughter, who was also Keeler's daughter, had a birthday party May 19 where Keeler had been drinking.
After guests left, Keeler began making threatening remarks about killing the woman and her family. Keeler poured a bottle of water on her while in bed while continuing to make comments about murder.
In the bedroom, Keeler assaulted the victim by grabbing her throat. She asked him to stop, but he continued to strangle her until she tasted blood and could not breathe.
In a later interview, the victim said she played unconscious to see if he would stop.
The daughter responded to the noise coming from the bedroom and walked in, at which time Keeler released the woman and picked up his daughter.
The victim said had the child not walked in, she may have died during the strangulation.
Keeler checked the victim's phone for evidence she had recorded the assault and checked her neck for marks.
The woman said Keeler owns three handguns and one type of long gun, saying he can't have guns in Minnesota because he was charged previously with a domestic.
Upon contact with Keeler's employer, a Prescott officer was informed Keeler had been sent home for the day.
Keeler also made contact with the Prescott police department, saying he knew why they were calling and that the woman was making some awful comments that weren't true. Keeler planned to meet in person with an officer as of May 22. No further information was provided in the criminal complaint.