A Golden Valley man has been charged with repeatedly punching his girlfriend in the face, strangling her, biting her on the breast and threatening to kill her.
Johnny Lee Miller, 44, is charged with two felonies: third-degree assault causing substantial bodily harm, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine, and domestic assault by strangulation, which has a maximum penalty of three years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
Miller is also charged with interfering with an emergency call, a gross misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of a year in jail and a $3,000 fine.
According to the criminal complaint, signed by Detective Mario Hernandez, police were called to an apartment in the 1400 block of Douglas Drive just after 9:30 p.m. Aug. 15 on a domestic assault report.
Miller, who met police at the door, had blood on his face, according to the complaint. Officers asked him what happened, and he said he was injured when his girlfriend threw a picture frame at him.
Miller added, without being asked, that he didn’t “do anything,” and that his girlfriend had fallen and hit her head on a table and he was “only trying to help her out,” according to the complaint.
The victim appeared to have suffered significant injuries, including “obvious head trauma,” the complaint says. Police noted that she had blood running down her face from a wound above her left eye, and a “significant” bite mark on her left breast. The victim identified Miller as her assailant.
Both Miller and the victim were taken to a hospital.
The victim told police that she and Miller had argued about money earlier in the day, and Miller became increasingly angry until he approached her and punched her in the head and face numerous times.
Miller then grabbed the victim’s hair and punched her several more times, according to the complaint. He referred to a TV show that the couple had watched earlier in the day in which a man killed his girlfriend, and told the victim that she was going to end up like the victim in that show, the complaint charges.
Miller grabbed the victim’s throat and began to strangle her, the victim told police. She said she tried to scream, but she could neither scream nor breathe, and she passed out. When she woke up, Miller punched her in the face again, she said.
When Miller went into the bedroom, the victim said, she grabbed her cell phone and tried to call 911. He came back into the living room, saw her using the phone and stormed toward her again; she said she grabbed a picture frame and threw it at Miller, hitting him on the chin.
Miller continued toward the victim and tried to take her cell phone, then grabbed her hair and resumed punching her in the face, the complaint says. Sometime during the assault, Miller grabbed the victim and bit her on the left breast, she told police.
Miller eventually allowed the victim to leave the apartment, and she went to a neighbor’s apartment and called 911.
Police noted blood spatters all over the apartment walls and blinds and in the dining room and bathroom. Some of the blood spatters were 5 to 6 feet off the ground, police said.
When police visited the victim on Aug. 17, her eye was swollen shut and oozing pus, and she was unable to see out of it, according to the complaint. She had “significant” bruising on her trachea and her voice was raspy; doctors used seven stitches to repair the cut to her head.
Miller admitted to police that he and the victim argued and that he had referred to a TV show in which a man killed a woman, according to the complaint. He said he told the victim that she was doing exactly what the woman in the show did to cause the man to kill her, the complaint charges.
Miller described the incident as a “tussle” and said it was “quite possible” that he had strangled the victim during the tussle. Police asked how the victim was injured, and Miller said he didn’t know, contradicting his earlier statement that she fell, according to the complaint.
Police asked again about the injury to his chin, and Miller said the victim hit him with a lamp, contradicting his earlier statement that she threw a picture frame at him. He was asked about the blood spatter in the apartment, and claimed that he didn’t cause it, the complaint says.
Miller remains in the Hennepin County Jail on a $60,000 bond. An omnibus hearing in his case is scheduled Sept. 20 in Hennepin County District Court.
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