MURRAY — A case in which a Calloway County man accused of causing harm to a woman last month now includes a new charge made available this year by Kentucky lawmakers.

Friday, Assistant Calloway County Attorney David Perlow asked for and was granted inclusion of the charge of strangulation in the first degree in the case of Aaron Perkins, 42, of Murray. This is in regard to an altercation that allegedly occurred on July 15 at a Murray residence in which a woman received serious injuries.

“This is not something I would do lightly,” Perlow told Calloway District Judge Randall Hutchens in adding the charge Friday morning during Perkins’ arraignment. “This was a case in which a woman was seriously injured.”

Perkins already was charged with unlawful imprisonment in the second degree, terroristic threatening in the third degree and assault in the second degree (domestic violence). The assault charge carries with it a potential prison sentence of five to 10 years.

The strangulation charge brings a potential sentence of up to 10 years in prison. This was made possible by the Kentucky General Assembly in its 2019 session, where the House of Representatives passed the measure unanimously. The Senate later passed it with only one no vote.

State Sen. Alice Forgy Kerr (R-Lexington) was the sponsor of the bill. It was signed into law by Gov. Matt Bevin in May and the law went into effect in June.

The complaint warrant in the case shows that Murray Police Department Officer Justin Purcell responded to Murray-Calloway County Hospital just after midnight on July 16 in reference to an assault. Purcell states that the victim (name withheld from the public) told him that she had gone to Perkins’ house so she could do laundry, and that during that time, Perkins had become agitated and aggressive toward the female.

Purcell said the victim reported that Perkins did not allow her to leave the residence for about 12 hours.

“During this time, (the female) stated that Perkins choked her until she passed out, waking up when she hit the floor,” Purcell says in the warrant, adding that Perkins repeatedly “slapped, kicked and punched (the victim) throughout the night and also tackling and throwing her to the floor several times saying that she ‘would not leave the house alive.’”

The warrant also states that Perkins “squeezed her very hard several times, causing injury to her ribs and back,” Purcell added.

The warrant went on to say that the victim eventually was transferred to Baptist Health Paducah in Paducah for surgery due to her back injury.

Hutchens reaffirmed a $10,000 bond for Perkins, who has been incarcerated at the Calloway County Jail since Thursday. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Aug. 19 in Calloway District; a preliminary hearing determines whether enough probable cause exists in a case to move it forward.

Should Hutchens find that to be the case, the next step will be giving the case to a Calloway County grand jury, which will determine if enough evidence exists to move the case to Calloway Circuit Court.

Individuals facing charges are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.  

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