Police: Girlfriend beaten after refusing to watch movie

Sunday , August 03, 2014 - 8:17 AM

Tim Gurrister

BRIGHAM CITY -- A 23-year-old went off the deep end on his girlfriend, police say, when she wouldn't watch a movie with him in their residence.

Manuel Garza of Tremonton is charged in 1st District Court with aggravated assault, two counts of domestic violence in the presence of a child, all third-degree felonies carrying up to five years in prison, and misdemeanor counts of unlawful detention and threatening violence.

The unlawful detention charge stems from Garza allegedly grabbing the woman by the hair to drag her back into their home when she tried to flee the beating, according to charging documents.

The charges were filed last week after a month's investigation of the June 24 incident in the couple's residence in Tremonton. The extent of injuries to the woman and an 11-month-old child was not detailed in the court papers, but apparently were not serious enough to warrant elevating charges to second-degree felonies, punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

Garza has posted $15,000 bail. His arraignment is scheduled for Aug. 11 before Judge Ben Hadfield.

"Defendant became upset with his girlfriend, mother of his children, because she wouldn't watch a movie with him," reads a probable cause statement from Tremonton police.

After striking the woman numerous times, Garza then wrapped a belt around her neck and threw her down a small flight of stairs, according to the statement. "When his girlfriend tried to run away, he grabbed her by the hair and dragged her back and threw her down the stairs a second time while the victim was holding their 11-month-old child.

"He then wrapped the belt around her neck again and told her he was going to kill her." The couple's 2-year-old child was present and witnessed the altercation.

Contact reporter Tim Gurrister at 801-625-4238, tgurrister@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @tgurrister

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