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Man pleads not guilty after allegedly breaking into a woman’s home to strangle her

Crime Watch

IDAHO FALLS – A Rigby man pleaded not guilty to felony charges after he allegedly tried to strangle a woman in her own home.

During his arraignment in district court on Tuesday, Valentin Islas, 38, pleaded not guilty to all charges against him.

These charges include felony malicious injury to property, felony burglary, felony attempted strangulation and misdemeanor domestic battery.

RELATED | Police say man illegally entered a woman’s house and choked her

On July 3, Idaho Falls Police officers were called to an Idaho Falls home after reports of a domestic disturbance.

When officers arrived, the reporting party was outside, and officers heard a commotion coming from the basement. When they called for the woman to come upstairs, she exclaimed “I’m trying!” before running up the stairs, shirtless.

Officers called for Islas, who came upstairs and allegedly resisted officers, forcing them to take him to the ground before he was put into handcuffs and booked into the Bonneville County Jail.

When officers interviewed the woman, she stated she was still legally married to Islas, but they had been separated for several months, and she had recently moved into the new house to “get away from Valentin.”

The woman had three previous civil protection orders against Islas, and the most recent had just expired one week before.

The woman said Islas came into the bedroom, held her against the bed and began to choke her.

She kicked him off the bed, and Islas reportedly then began “throwing things around her room, flipping her bed, throwing her television and punching holes in the walls.”

Islas allegedly went upstairs, where he “head-butted” the window in the living room, shattering the window pane. Police records say he also went into the kitchen and punched the window pane to the back door, shattering the glass and breaking the wood frame.

The woman told police that at one point, Islas picked up some of the broken glass and cut his wrists, telling her “if they were not going to be together, she wouldn’t be with anyone.”

Though Islas has been charged with these crimes, it does not necessarily mean he committed them. Everyone is presumed innocent until they are proven guilty.

Islas is scheduled to attend a jury trial on Oct. 11. If convicted, he could spend up to 30 years in prison.

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