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Testimony from a woman claiming to have been choked and hit by a 44-year-old man who accused her of taking his drugs led to a judge certifying felony charges against the suspect.
Randy Emory Reed, a Toano man, now faces a grand jury, who will decide if there is enough evidence to try the case in Williamsburg-James City County Circuit Court.
District Court Judge Colleen Killilea heard from Reed’s accuser, a 62-year-old woman who said she was at the home of a friend off Pocahontas Trail at around 4 p.m. May 12 when Reed came to the house and showed her a small bag of “stuff,” which she later said was cocaine.
After showing her the drug, Reed told the woman he was “going to make a deal or see somebody,” and he left the home, according to her testimony.
The woman said Reed came back 20 minutes later and accused her of taking his drugs. She said Reed kept saying “I got to have it. I got to get my stuff. I can’t leave without having my stuff.”
The woman told Reed she did not have his “stuff,” but she said he did not believe her, so he proceeded to hit her in the mouth with his open hand, causing a tooth to loosen and her mouth to bleed.
She said Reed then choked her while she was lying on the living room couch and then tried to smother her with a pillow.
“I thought he was going to kill me,” she told the court. When she scratched his arm with her right hand, she said Reed let her go.
She said Reed and one of Reed’s relatives prevented her from leaving for several hours as she, Reed, the relative and the homeowner looked for the missing drugs in the house and in a truck parked outside.
During the time she was in the house, she “checked” herself once for cocaine in her genitals while the homeowner was watching and was checked once by the homeowner.
At around 7 p.m., a man came to the house and the woman was able to get into her car and leave, calling 911 and going to her house but not getting out of the car once she arrived, instead talking to a man on the street for about five minutes.
She then went to Riverside Doctors’ Hospital, where she stayed for two days and was treated for bruising on her neck and an injury to her mouth.
When asked by defense attorney Brandon Waltrip why she did not leave the house until 7 p.m., she said she was scared to leave and Reed and his relative would not allow her to leave.
Waltrip argued Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Josh DeFord failed to prove the incident met the legal definition of strangulation — the impeding of a person’s blood circulation or respiration — but DeFord argued the woman had bruises around her neck, said she was choked and had trouble breathing.
Killilea certified both the felony strangulation and felony abduction charges and dropped the malicious wounding charge at the request of DeFord.
A circuit court trial date for Reed has not yet been set.