Gary Lyle Hudson, 57, entered an Alford plea in Wise County Circuit Court Thursday, on charges of strangulation, destruction of property and preventing a victim from calling emergency services, according to Wise County Commonwealth’s Attorney Chuck Slemp III.
Slemp said Hudson was originally expected to go to trial Thursday before making the plea. A defendant making an Alford plea acknowledges that the evidence against them would likely result in a guilty verdict by a jury.
According to court records, Hudson, on June 6 and 7, became intoxicated and attacked his live-in girlfriend at their residence near Coeburn.
Slemp said Hudson hit the woman in the face and choked her during the attack before destroying an internet modem and throwing her cell phone in nearby woods to keep her from calling 911.
Slemp said Wise County Sheriff’s deputies responded the day after the attack and saw marks on her neck and bruising across her body.
Circuit Court Judge Jeff Hamilton sentenced Hudson to seven years in prison with six suspended. Hudson remains in the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail in Duffield.
“This case highlights how quickly a domestic dispute can escalate into a dangerous, life-threatening incident,” Slemp said. “We pray that these convictions will provide the victim in this case with peace of mind and closure. I am so thankful that the victim was brave enough to report these crimes and cooperate with law enforcement efforts to keep her safe and so proud of the hard work of Deputy Bevins in securing these convictions.”