Hearing Continued in Greensburg Man’s Strangulation Case

CLEARFIELD – A Greensburg man has been accused of strangling a woman during a domestic assault at a local hotel earlier this month.

Mark Edwin Magill, 43, has been charged by Officer Zachary S. Cowan of the Lawrence Township police with strangulation, F2; simple assault, M2; recklessly endangering another person, M2; disorderly conduct, M3; and harassment, S. Bail has been set at $10,000 unsecured.

Magill had his preliminary hearing continued until 10:45 a.m. Jan. 24, 2018 during centralized court on Wednesday.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, at approximately 2:35 a.m. Oct. 8, Cowan was dispatched to a reported stabbing at the Holiday Inn in Lawrence Township.

While en route to the scene, Cowan requested assistance from Clearfield Borough police due to his partner handling a separate incident. At this time, County Control advised a woman was still in her room “303” and a man was outside the hotel.

Upon arrival, police made contact with Magill. He said he’d been drinking due to his 25th class reunion, and he and his wife were also involved in an argument and fight.

According to him, it escalated and resulted in his wife becoming agitated and stabbing his hand with his work knife. He showed officers a small laceration on his left wrist, right above his hand.

Cowan said the wound appeared to have stopped bleeding; it also didn’t appear to be very deep to him. Magill declined to be evaluated by emergency personnel or taken to the hospital for treatment.

When asked again what happened, Magill said after it escalated, he left the room, spoke with the front desk worker and they called the police. Officers asked him to remain in the lobby while they spoke to his wife, which he did.

When officers made contact with Magill’s wife, she was asked about the location of the knife. She indicated it was on McGill’s suitcase, which he was packing. Officer Alex Burkett of the Clearfield Borough police located the plastic folding knife, which was still open, with a small drop of blood on the blade.

Cowan then observed there appeared to be blood on the bed, the woman’s clothes and on the phone near where Burkett had located the knife. The woman said Magill had consumed too much alcohol and wanted to go out to the bars with his friends.

She told him that he wasn’t allowed due to his level of intoxication, and this caused him to become irate. She said it ultimately escalated to more verbal abuse, name calling, throwing items around and eventually a physical altercation.

She detailed the incident for police, saying Magill was yelling at her the entire time and throwing items, which she picked up. She started to get ready for bed while he stood near his bag yelling. She grabbed her cell phone and started to record his behavior.

When she told him she was recording him, she said it didn’t change his behavior and it only escalated. He allegedly threw his boots at her, striking her body but not leaving visible marks; jumped on top of her grabbing her hair; and threw her head against the headboard.

Then, Magill allegedly moved his hands to her chin to hold her head up and then wrapped both around her throat to choke her. She said once his hands were applying pressure to her throat, her eyes closed and she began to “see stars.”

The woman said at this point, she feared for her safety due to his level of aggression. She told police she began to fight him off, which is when he punched her in the face and head with a closed fist. She showed Cowen her left eye, where it was apparent she’d been struck due to swelling, a laceration and a dark contusion.

When she managed to get free, the woman said she took Magill’s phone to call his friends because he was out of control. She said once she began to give details, Magill began to yell that she’d stabbed him. She denied even touching his knife.

She warned Magill she would contact police if he didn’t get away from her. He replied, saying that he would tell police that she’d stabbed him. She said Magill finally left the room, and she locked the door to keep him away.

During the investigation, the woman showed police various “aggressor marks” on her arms, face and neck.  Police took pictures of her wounds as well as the blood in the room and the knife. The woman showed Cowan videos of Magill’s behavior, which were consistent with her story.

Her videos didn’t show any of the assault, and the woman said it was due to Magill being on top of her. Cowan noted that these videos displayed “0:01” and “0:00” in length.

The videos after the assault showed Magill yelling that he was going to tell police she’d stabbed him. He also commented that police would believe him because he had blood on his arm, according to the affidavit. 

Through the videos, Cowan believed that Magill was clearly the aggressor and the woman the victim.

When police spoke with Magill, he changed his story. He didn’t know if his wife had stabbed him or not. He denied cutting himself, which she believed he did in an effort to get her into trouble.

When police asked why his story changed from earlier, Magill claimed he didn’t know what happened. He also didn’t have an answer as to why there was a drop of blood on the knife.

However, when confronted about the aggressor marks on his wife’s body, he denied that he ever touched her. Cowan continued to try to get his story until Magill told him to just take him to jail and he would get an attorney.

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