Claws come out; man arrested following domestic

BUCKHANNON — One local man is behind bars after a verbal dispute over a feline friend allegedly turned physical on Monday, November 14, 2022.

According to a criminal complaint filed by West Virginia State Trooper Z. K. Lewis, Upshur County Communications contacted Trooper Lewis regarding a domestic in progress on Monday afternoon, around 1:15 p.m. The Comms Center notified the trooper of the two people involved in the disturbance.

The complaint stated, “Once on scene, Trooper Lewis identified the female and male caller. Both parties were separated.” The defendant was identified as 62-year-old Terry Lee Mills, of Buckhannon.

Upon speaking with the victim, Trooper Lewis observed clear red marks around the victims neck, which was consistent with physical contact and or strangulation. The officer also noted that the victim was visibly upset.

According to the statement provided by the victim, “She had brought home a kitten, without the defendants prior knowledge.” This is when the two got into a verbal altercation. The victim stated that the defendant allegedly placed his hands around her neck and restricted airflow, which caused the female to become faint. However, the defendant allegedly released his hold before the woman lost consciousness.

Upon further discussion with the defendant, Trooper Lewis confirmed that the disagreement began over the kitten. The defendant stated “They entered hid vehicle together and began driving down the roadway to return the kitten and the victim was driving.” According to the defendant, the victim referenced a prior relationship, escalating the verbal argument. The accused claimed that he “reached over and hovered his hands around the neck of the victim.” While doing this, he told Trooper Lewis, that he stated he was going to choke her.

Concluding the criminal complaint, Trooper Lewis stated, “Due to the marks on the victim and the statements from both parties, the accused was charged with Domestic Assault, Domestic Battery and Strangulation.”

Mills is currently jailed at Tygart Valley Regional Jail, with a $22,500 cash bail.


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