By: Patti Weaver

(Stillwater, Okla.) — A Stillwater man has been jailed on $50,000 bail on a felony charge alleging he choked his girlfriend on Valentine’s Day — one month after he was placed on probation for abusing the same woman and violating a protective order she obtained against him.

If convicted of domestic assault and battery by strangulation as a subsequent offense, William Bryce Donovan, 27, could be imprisoned for three to 10 years and fined $20,000. Donovan has been scheduled for a preliminary hearing on March 24, court records show.

On Feb. 15, officers were sent to the woman’s apartment for a welfare check after a man reported he heard Donovan strangle her the previous day, but he didn’t know her name, Stillwater Police Detective Mary Kellison alleged in an affidavit.

When police arrived, she “seemed somewhat scared to speak very loudly and quietly told officer William Donovan was inside the apartment,” the affidavit alleged.

She said “last night, William grabbed her by the neck and strangled her,” the affidavit alleged. She said she was cooking dinner on Valentine’s Day “when William came into the kitchen with a drink for her,” the affidavit alleged.

She said “she told him she didn’t want the drink and that he shouldn’t be drinking either, because things go wrong when he drinks,” the affidavit alleged. She said “she reminded William of the week prior,” when after he drank a bottle of whiskey, he put a knife to her throat, the affidavit alleged. She said “William promised he wouldn’t drink after that incident,” the affidavit alleged.

She said their friend “was in the other room while this conversation was going on,” the affidavit alleged. She said “William didn’t want (him) to hear what he had done, so he took her back to the bedroom,” where he strangled her, the affidavit alleged.

She said “William continued to strangle her until she stopped resisting and fell to the floor,” the affidavit alleged. She said “she then got up and ran into the living room. (She) explained it took a few minutes to catch her breath and for her heart rate to come back down,” the affidavit alleged.

She said “William had strangled her multiple times before this incident. (She) also indicated that she had difficulty breathing after this incident for a few minutes. (She) had experienced dizziness, a headache and felling faint. (She) said she had vision loss during this incident of strangulation. (She) also experienced coughing after the incident of strangulation. (She) indicated she was unable to speak while being strangled by William,” the affidavit alleged.

A man on the scene told police, “William didn’t want him to hear what he was saying,” the affidavit alleged. The man said that the couple went into a room after which “it got real quiet for a few minutes and then (she) came running into the living room and was acting like she couldn’t breathe. (The man) said he realized something had taken place,” the affidavit alleged.

Exactly one month earlier, Donovan had been placed on one year’s probation with an order to take a 52-week batterers’ intervention course, after he admitted he had attacked her on Nov. 28, 2020, and violated the protective order she got against him on the previous day, court records show.

In that case, “She said he arrived at her place and she told him to leave. He barged inside and she continued to tell him the relationship was over. He grabbed her by the hair and pulled her head toward him as he questioned whether or not she really meant what she said. She went to the bathroom and texted her friend to call police. (She) told Officer Gulick that William told her if she ‘set him up’ that he would kill her,” according to a police affidavit.

In her application for a protective order, she had written, “William moved down to Oklahoma in September after being released from jail. He continued to hurt me by choking me, hitting me, keeping me trapped in my house unable to run and scream for help. He’s destroyed my phone making it so I couldn’t call the police or anyone for help.

“Wednesday, November 25th, I pretended I had to go to work to get out of the house. He threatened if I didn’t come home that night he would destroy the property I rent. The night before, he stole my bank card for the second time (while in Oklahoma). We verbally argued. Then it got to where he slapped my face giving me a bloody lip,” she wrote in her petition for an emergency protective order that was dismissed on Dec. 3, 2020, at her request, court records show.

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