HONESDALE—A non-jury trial heard by President Judge Janine Edwards ended Monday in the conviction of Michael Newfield, 32 of Honesdale.
Newfield was convicted of one count of Strangulation (Felony-2) and one count of Simple Assault (Misdemeanor-2) resulting from a domestic dispute which occurred on April 5, 2018.
He is scheduled to be sentenced on October 18 at 9:30 a.m.
In a press release from the Wayne County District Attorney's (DA's) Office, prosecutor Deborah Rothenberg, First Assistant District Attorney, stated, “This office, and offices of the District Attorney around the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, have taken a zero tolerance approach to domestic violence.”
She further related that new legislature passed last year upgraded strangulation offenses against an intimate partner to felony-grade crimes, noting, “The research in the field of domestic violence objectively shows that an abuser’s attempt to strangle the victim is one of the biggest predictors of future lethality in intimate partner violence.
“Domestic violence is no longer a ‘private matter’ to be dealt with in the home, instead it is an issue our entire community must combat,” Rothenberg concluded.
“I am thankful that Judge Edwards was able to separate the truth from the lies in the testimony today and come to the correct determination that Mr. Newfield strangled and assaulted (the victim), and I am hopeful that this conviction will dissuade the defendant from assaulting other victims in the future.”
In that same release, DA Patrick Robinson stated, “As usual, the Pennsylvania State Police and First Assistant Rothenberg did a very good job investigating and prosecuting this case.”
According to the PSP affidavit of probable cause, when troopers arrived on scene, they found the victim “... had a red mark around the left side of her neck and had sustained a bloody/swollen lip.”
The victim told police responders “...she and the Defendant had been drinking and started arguing in the kitchen,” and she “...flicked a cigarette at the Defendant.”
According to the affidavit, Newfield then began to choke and threaten the victim.
Children in the house told PSP troopers they heard the commotion in the kitchen and that Newfield “...tried to throw (the victim) down the stairs to the basement.”
—Information from a release was used in this story.