• Man accused of choking woman while drunk
     | April 21,2014

    BARRE — A St. Johnsbury man is being held on $5,000 bail on a charge alleging he choked a woman in a drunken rage.

    Phillip B. Bishop, 28, pleaded not guilty Friday in Washington County criminal court to one count of aggravated domestic assault, a felony. If convicted, he faces a maximum of 15 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

    According to the police affidavit, officers responded to a reported domestic disturbance on Bromur Street in Barre on Thursday around 3:45 a.m. When they arrived, police say, Bishop was sitting on the porch. He was visibly upset and appeared intoxicated, according to the affidavit.

    Officers then spoke with a woman inside the home. The woman was also visibly upset and crying, and police saw red marks and scratches around her neck and throat, as well as redness on her chest and a small cut on her lower lip.

    The woman told police she woke up and Bishop was cooking. When the woman asked if Bishop was going to eat all the food, she told police, he became agitated and started yelling at her. The woman said she told Bishop not to drink anymore in the house, which caused Bishop to become even more agitated.

    The woman told police she tried to dump out three 24-ounce cans of beer but that Bishop wouldn’t let her and chased her into the laundry room, where he put his arm around her neck to stop her. The woman said she fell to the floor and Bishop sat on her, putting both his hands on her neck and starting to squeeze. The woman told police she couldn’t breathe so she grabbed for Bishop’s face and he let her up.

    The woman ran from the laundry room to the bedroom, and Bishop followed her, continuing to yell, according to the affidavit. The woman told police she tried to secure the rent money, which she was afraid Bishop would take, when Bishop grabbed her and threw her over the bed and onto the floor. She told Bishop she would call the police, and he became more agitated, she said.

    The woman told police Bishop again put his hands around her neck and she wasn’t sure if he would stop. She elbowed Bishop in the ribs to get him off her.

    When police spoke with Bishop, he said the woman attacked him and punched him in the mouth for cooking. He also told police they had better take him to jail or he was going to kill someone.

    When asked if he hit the woman, Bishop said, “I’m not going to lie. I never hit her, but I did throw her around in the apartment when she attacked me,” according to the affidavit.

    Bishop is being held at Northeast Regional Correctional Facility in St. Johnsbury.

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