By Skyler Nichols
A San Angelo man found guilty of assault family/house member impede breath or circulation was sentenced in 391st District Court Wednesday.
Judge Tom Gossett found defendant, Matthew Freeman, guilty Tuesday of assault family/house member impede breath or circulation charge after Freeman waived his right to a jury trial.
Testimony was heard by the defendent’s wife, Liza Dennis, who gave her account of what happened on the day of the incident in May 2015.
Dennis said Freeman grabbed her, threw her on the bed, straddled her, acted like he was going to punch her, but instead choked and kicked her. The incident report stated Dennis felt dizzy afterwards.
Randol Stout, attorney for Freeman, asked Dennis about her relationship with Freeman and if they ever fought. Dennis said in February 2015 through March 2015, the couple was fighting almost every day.
Stout then asked her if some of the fights were over a man named Johnny Silvas. Dennis said some of them. Stout went on to ask Dennis about how often Silvas contacted her through email and by phone. She said very frequently but did not keep count.
At some point during the time period in question, Dennis changed her number and email address. Dennis later testified that Silvas was the one she went to after Freeman attacked her, and that Silvas and Dennis went to the police station together to make the report.
Dennis then said she went back to work and went to her home that she and Freeman shared and continued to live there until Freeman’s arrest a few days later.
Freeman took the stand and denied that he tried to choke Dennis. He said he and Dennis had a few drinks at their house and cooked dinner. Freeman was on parole at the time of the incident and was not suppose to drink alcohol. Freeman admitted to throwing her on the bed and straddling her, but says he put his hands on her chest. He also admitted to kicking Dennis, but said he never punched her because he does not hit women.
The state’s attorney claimed Freeman denied choking the victim because the charge would result in a felony conviction and impact his parole from a previous charge.
Freeman was sentenced Wednesday to 15 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Institutional Division. He was given jail credits from May 8, 2015, through Jan. 27, 2016.
The court informed Freeman of his right to appeal and Stout will remain as counsel through the perfection of appeal, at which time new counsel will be appointed, according to court documents.