CLEARFIELD – A DuBois man accused of strangling a woman two times on the same day pleaded guilty to lesser charges Wednesday in Clearfield County Court.
Matthew Shane Gallahan, 34, was originally charged by Sandy Township police in two, separate cases with felony strangulation and misdemeanor simple assault.
Gallahan agreed to enter a guilty plea to one count of simple assault in each case before Judge Paul E. Cherry. Per the agreement, he’ll receive a minimum sentence of two years of incarceration with his maximum to be determined by the court.
Cherry accepted the plea cancelling the two-day jury trial that was scheduled to begin Wednesday and dismissing the jury panel.
Cherry ordered for the Probation Department to conduct a pre-sentencing investigation and for Gallahan to be scheduled for sentencing within 60 days.
According to the affidavit of probable cause filed with the office of Magisterial District Judge Pat Ford, the first assault occurred around 1 a.m. July 28, at a Sandy Township residence.
When police spoke with the victim at the scene, she said that Gallahan was high on methamphetamine and had struck her several times.
She said they’d argued throughout the day, but it turned physical right before she called for help. She also said she tried to leave, but that Gallahan would not let her.
She said he started to slap her in the face, then walked up behind her and placed her in chokehold. She told police she was unable to breathe and went unconscious.
After he let go and she became conscious again, she said he retrieved a large butcher knife from the kitchen. When he started to walk towards her, she ran upstairs, she told police.
She said he put the knife down after he heard her on the phone with 911, and fled from the residence. Police conducted a search of the area but didn’t locate Gallahan.
The second assault occurred later on that same morning when Gallahan wrapped his arm around her neck and choked her, the victim told police. She said she was able to get into her car and lock the doors.
She said that Gallahan proceeded to punch in the window, which made her start the car and leave.
Gallahan is being held at the Clearfield County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail in the first case and $5,000 for the second case.