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February 22, 2013

John King sentenced to 10 years in strangulation case

Essex County mom, wiferecount domestic violence

ELIZABETHTOWN — Before John King was sentenced Thursday to 10 years in prison for strangling his wife, the judge gave the victim a chance to have matters play out a different way.

“I wonder whether or not this case might be better going to trial,” Essex County Judge Richard B. Meyer said, referencing the severity of the domestic-violence attack.

King had sidestepped an attempted-murder charge when, on the day of jury selection for his trial, he made a plea agreement. 

The former Westport man admitted guilt to felony strangulation, throttling his wife, Meredith King, on Sept. 25, 2011, even as their young daughter was in the home, hiding and watching.

Meredith was injured, rendered unconscious and made incontinent in the attack.

CHILD SAW ATTACK

In a powerful victim’s impact statement at the sentencing, she described how John had punched her and strangled her, cutting off her breathing. And then he choked her vocal cords so she couldn’t scream, keeping pressure on her neck until she fell unconscious.

Meredith said he dragged her into a corner, where she came to, with John still in the room.

He offered no help and made no calls to summon any assistance. Instead, he threw the phone at her.

“I thought I was going to die,” she said, “with (my daughter) upstairs. There is no terror like losing the ability to get air in or out.”

It was she who eventually managed to call 911 to report the attack.

Meredith said her mother came to the house, alerted by police cars, and John warned her: “Don’t ask any questions.”

John then took a gun, went to an outside location and threatened to kill himself, Meredith said.

Her voice did not waver as she said that, without a day in court, she had been unable to bring forth witnesses, photographs and evidence to tell her story.

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