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Bail reduced for Langley choking suspect

A 47-year-old Langley resident is accused of choking his girlfriend, court documents state.

Prosecutors charged Frederick VanBenschoten III in Island County Superior Court June 23 with assault in the second degree by strangulation.

VanBenschoten’s bail was originally set at $25,000. But at a July 6 hearing, his attorney, Nancy Neal of Coupeville, asked the judge to eliminate or reduce the bail so he could help his ailing father with his farm.

Judge Alan Hancock agreed and reduced the bail to $5,000.

Deputy Darren Crownover with the Island County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a domestic assault at a Langley residence on June 17.

According to the deputy’s report, a 49-year-old woman claimed that VanBenschoten grabbed her by the throat, choked her, shoved her down the hallway while holding her by the throat and threw her through a closet door.

Also, she said he held a broken piece of glassware to her throat.

VanBenschoten denied harming the woman or breaking anything in the house, Crownover wrote. He said that the woman became upset and he left, the report states.

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