New York City news anchor Rob Morrison was arrested for choking his wife -- an incident that has been "greatly exaggerated," Morrison and his wife said in a joint statement.
Police say Rob Morrison, WCBS-TV's morning news anchor, became increasingly belligerent toward his wife during an argument early Sunday and allegedly choked her. Morrison's wife Ashley is a TV anchor for CBS MoneyWatch, reports the Darien Times.
In Sunday's incident, Ashley Morrison's mother called 911. In addition, police claim that they heard Rob Morrison threaten to harm his wife even further.
When police arrived at the Morrisons' home in Darien, Connecticut, officers observed red marks on Ashley's neck. Rob Morrison had used both hands to choke her, according to police.
Rob Morrison was taken into custody and released after posting $100,000 bond. He faces a felony strangulation charge, as well as misdemeanor charges of threatening and disorderly conduct.
For the strangulation charge, prosecutors will generally have to prove that Morrison restrained his wife by the neck or throat with the intent to impede either her blood flow or her ability to breathe, and actually did impede the flow of oxygen or blood. If convicted of second degree strangulation, Morrison could potentially face up to five years in prison.
Compare that to a charge of first degree strangulation, which is a strangulation involving the use of a dangerous instrument or one that caused serious physical injury to the victim. For a first degree strangulation charge, a defendant could face up to 10 years in prison under Connecticut law.
If the criminal case against Rob Morrison proceeds, it will be interesting to see whether Ashley Morrison takes part in the prosecution. In many states including Connecticut, the husband or wife of a criminal defendant has a privilege to not testify against his or her spouse; it's the testifying spouse's choice whether to invoke the privilege.
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