Casper Man Arrested, Accused of Abusing Girlfriend for Months
A man was arrested on federal charges Tuesday after his ex-girlfriend told police he "strangled, suffocated and abused" her throughout their relationship.
Matthew Richard Williams, 32, was booked into jail on two counts of strangulation of a household member, one count of domestic battery and a charge of false imprisonment. If convicted on all counts, he could face over 11 years behind bars and $21,750 in fines.
According to charging documents, the victim told police that she was embarrassed and did not report the abuse sooner because she was afraid of Williams. She said the worst abuse occurred on April 30.
On the night of April 29, the victim and Williams attended a party with friends. Williams was allegedly under the influence of marijuana and spice, and began accusing the victim of cheating on him with another woman at the party.
The victim told police Williams repeatedly made such accusations during their eight-month relationship, and Williams was extremely possessive.
In the early morning hours of April 30, she and Williams returned to their apartment and the victim went to sleep in her daughter's bed, as she and Williams were fighting.
At about 2 a.m. and 3 a.m., as the victim slept, Williams allegedly dragged her out of bed by her legs and "tossed [her] around like a rag doll." He then reportedly strangled and suffocated the victim multiple times.
The victim said she "could not breathe, and passed out," according to charging papers. The victim was allegedly hit several times, and her nose was bloodied.
One of Williams' friends was reportedly in the apartment during the assault, but he refused to intervene.
Williams refused to let her leave, the victim said, and threatened to kill her. She was afraid to leave, she told police, because of how "violent he was, how intimidating, I wasn't going to risk it." She described Williams as having a "nasty temper."
The victim said she didn't know why Williams stopped the assault, but at some point he said he was waiting for the police to show up and arrest him. The victim got some sleep, not realizing the extent of her injuries until she awoke.
Her nose was still bleeding, she could barely see or move her jaw and was "too scared to do anything." Williams allowed her to leave later that day so the victim could seek medical treatment.
According to court documents, the attending doctor at Wyoming Medical Center wrote, "she is hurting so bad on her jaw that she cannot even touch her face. She also has bruising around her neck, which she says is from where she was choked; she thinks she was choked hard enough to be knocked out."
The doctor was fearful that the victim's jaw may have been broken or dislocated, and assessed the victim's injuries to be the result of strangulation and "assault with multiple bruises to head, face and bilateral eyes."
Williams allegedly held the victim in the apartment for two weeks after the alleged assault on April 30, refusing to let her leave due to her visible injuries.
Photos of the victim's wounds reportedly showed bruising on the victim's chin, neck, arms, legs, back, torso and face. She told police it was the worst abuse she had suffered at the hands of Williams, but that he regularly choked and suffocated her.
She also said her daughter observed the abuse on several occasions.
One of those was in late June, when Williams was reportedly screaming and yelling at the victim as well as strangling and suffocating her.
The victim's daughter was present, and reportedly screamed, "Matt don't hurt my mommy," according to court documents. The victim said she "couldn't even gasp," and believed she passed out due to the strangulation.
Williams reportedly refused to allow the victim to leave the apartment, have friends, have a Facebook account of access a phone.
Williams and the victim were both required to appear for a court date at one point, and Williams allegedly told her he "hoped" she didn't have marks, "because I don't want you going to court like that."
Police interviewed Williams at an address on South Kenwood Street. Williams was reportedly swearing profusely, his tank top was wet with sweat and he expressed immediate dislike toward law enforcement.
Williams reportedly said he had been "waiting for the cops" to come speak with him, but he didn't specify a reason. He did say the victim really wanted to report something that happened three months prior.
He reportedly told officers that the victim moved in with him after separating from her ex-husband. He repeatedly said he loved her and was trying to protect and provide for her, but accused her of cheating on him.
Williams denied assaulting the victim, but allegedly said he did "grab her one time when she was running around punching stuff."
When police asked how the victim was injured on April 30, Williams said he thought she had a seizure. Medical documentation as presented in the police affidavit specifically says the victim did not have a seizure on that occasion.
Williams was arrested. He made his initial appearance in Natrona County Circuit Court on Wednesday, where Judge Steven Brown set Williams' bond at $30,000 cash or surety.