The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Crime & Courts

August 7, 2012

Woman sent to prison for choking her mother

JOPLIN, Mo. — A Jasper County judge assessed an Oklahoma woman four years in prison this week for assaulting her mother and choking her until she lost consciousness.

Circuit Judge Gayle Crane assessed Charla R. Patterson, 35, of Miami, the prison term at a sentencing hearing in Jasper County Circuit Court in Joplin.

Patterson entered an Alford plea in January to a reduced charge of second-degree domestic assault. An Alford plea admits no guilt but acknowledges the likelihood of a conviction if the case were to go to trial. She initially faced a charge of first-degree assault. Her plea agreement with the prosecutor’s office limited the prison time she might be assessed to no more than four years.

The defendant attacked her mother, Kristy Long, on March 19, 2011, inside Long’s home in Duquesne, according to a probable-cause affidavit.

Subpoenaed to testify against her daughter at a preliminary hearing last year, Long told the court that her daughter got into an argument with her that night after Long’s husband made a comment about Patterson always coming over and complaining about her husband and children. Long’s husband left the house after making the comment, and Patterson laid into her for not standing up for her, Long testified.

She told the court that Patterson began hitting her repeatedly on her head and choking her with her hands.

“I remember being choked to where I couldn’t breathe any longer,” she testified.

She said her daughter then took the drawstring from a hooded sweatshirt and began choking her with it and threatening to kill her. A probable-cause affidavit alleged that Patterson did not stop until Long lost consciousness briefly.

Long told the court that she later was diagnosed with a subdural hematoma and required surgery.

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