SOUTHINGTON - A Bristol man who strangled a woman during a domestic violence incident in Southington, cutting off her ability to breathe, could avoid further time behind bars if he’s successful in treatment.
Joshua Werner, 41, accepted a plea deal on Tuesday, in Bristol Superior Court, pleading guilty under the Alford doctrine to charges of third-degree assault, first-degree reckless endangerment and second-degree unlawful restraint. An Alford plea means he disputes some of the allegations but acknowledges he could potentially be convicted after a trial.
According to police, Werner and the victim were involved in an argument on Sept. 2 at a home on Beecher Street. During the incident, police said, Werner put one hand around the victim’s neck and used the other to cover her nose and mouth, cutting off her ability to breathe.
Werner stopped the attack when a witness walked into the room, according to police. He left the home and was later involved in a car accident on I-84 in Plainville, police said. He was taken to an area hospital and charged about two weeks later in the domestic incident.
The plea deal Werner accepted Tuesday requires him to seek outpatient treatment through the Community Mental Health Affiliates Inc., obey a protective order that bars him from contacting the victim and avoid any new arrests. Should he complete those requirements successfully, he would be sentenced to a fully-suspended jail sentence and probation.
If Werner is not successful, he could be looking at as much as three years in prison. He is due back in court on Dec. 11 for court officials to check on his progress.
Werner, who had been held on his bond since his arrest on Sept. 18, was released from custody on Tuesday.
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or firstname.lastname@example.org.