Sunday, April 14, 2024

JCC Man Accused of Choking Man, Fracturing Eye Socket to Face Grand Jury

Kenneth Dale Sturgell (Photo courtesy Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail)
Kenneth Dale Sturgell (Photo courtesy Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail)

A 30-year-old James City County man is heading to circuit court on a felony strangulation charge stemming from what the alleged victim described in court Thursday as a violent attack.

Kenneth Dale Sturgell was facing two other charges, but those were dropped at a preliminary hearing Thursday in Williamsburg-James City County District Court. The judge, Colleen Killilea, sent the strangulation charge to a grand jury in circuit court.

Killilea first heard from a 20-year-old man who said Sturgell attacked him between 2:30 and 3:30 a.m. July 3 at the Country Village Mobile Home Park in Grove.

The man said he was at a party with his girlfriend. At the party, Sturgell, who is the girlfriend’s cousin, was whispering in the girlfriend’s ear, he said.

“I didn’t know if he was talking crap about me,” the man said, noting Sturgell seemed to be under the influence of alcohol. He said he was drinking Jagermeister at the party and he heard Xanax was being consumed. He also said he smelled marijuana.

The man said he was about to go on a walk with his girlfriend when Sturgell summoned him to his house. He said he “approached politely” at which point Sturgell tried to pick him up by the throat and body slam him on the ground.

“He started choking me,” the man said. “He said he would hunt me down and kill me and my girlfriend [if I reported the attack to the police].”

The man said both of Sturgell’s hands were on his throat and he could not breathe. He also said Sturgell head-butted him while on the ground.

The man said he had nowhere to go after the alleged attack, so he slept in the living room of a trailer with his girlfriend while Sturgell slept in a nearby bedroom. He said Sturgell repeatedly apologized throughout the night.

A day-and-a-half after the alleged attack, the man said he went to the doctor, who diagnosed a broken nose, a fractured eye socket and a concussion.

Sturgell’s attorney, Joshua Goff, questioned the man about his memory of the event. The man said his memory was “hazy,” however medication he is on now helps him to focus.

Neither Goff nor Williamsburg-James City County Commonwealth’s Attorney Nate Green offered any comments to Killilea following the man’s testimony.

Sturgell also faced one felony count of malicious wounding and one misdemeanor count of intimidating a witness, however those were dropped. He will face a grand jury in September. The grand jury will decide whether to indict him, setting up a potential trail in circuit court.

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