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Gavel and law books

Gavel and law books

Two men charged last year with felony strangulation have since been convicted of lesser charges. 

Matthew James Boland accepted a plea agreement in late 2017 amending his charge to a misdemeanor partner family member assault, and the case was sent to Missoula County Justice Court. 

Boland's wife accused him of strangling her in their home after an argument in June 2017. Police who responded to her 911 call reported seeing purple and reddish bruises near her left ear, and said her throat and upper chest were blotchy and red. 

As the case moved forward, Boland and the woman petitioned the judge to allow Boland contact with her so they could meet in couples' counseling sessions. The judge granted the request, after attorneys wrote that Boland, the woman and attorneys for both sides had gone to "painstaking" measures "to allow the Defendant to gradually reintegrate back into the family unit and ensure the safety of every member of that unit."

In January, Boland was sentenced to one year, all suspended, for each of two charges of partner family member assault. He has since been released from probation, is in the process of divorce and has stopped drinking, according to court records provided by his attorney.

Justin Wayne Corbine's charge was amended to a misdemeanor less than a month after the felony charge was filed against him. He pleaded guilty to a  partner family member assault charge on July 12, 2017.

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According to the initial affidavit, Corbine's neighbors called police after they  heard a woman inside the home crying and asking for help. They had been arguing and she alleged Corbine wrapped her hair around her throat.

The Missoula County Attorney's Office told the Missoulian the victim in this case recanted her story, and asked the charge be dismissed. In examining the evidence, prosecutors found there was still probable cause to pursue a misdemeanor charge. 

Corbine was sentenced to one year all suspended and ordered not to contact the victim.

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