Bruceton Mills man charged with malicious assault set to plea

KINGWOOD — A Bruceton Mills man entered an Alford or Kennedy plea Friday to strangulation of a woman last year.

Senior Status Judge Larry Starcher accepted the plea and sentenced David Ray Walls, 53, to one to five years in prison, then suspended the prison time for home confinement. The sentence was part of a binding plea agreement reached between Walls and the prosecutor.

The state also agreed to dismiss the second charge in the March indictment, which was for malicious assault.

An Alford or Kennedy plea is not an admission of guilt but is the defendant’s acknowledgement that he could be convicted at trial, based on the evidence.

“You will be confined to your home for one to five years. That takes some discipline,”  Starcher said.

Walls said he had his own business, putting siding on buildings, before his arrest. He said that he is an alcoholic but will not drink now.

Assistant Prosecutor Savannah Wilkins said Walls and the woman he assaulted were drinking in September 2017, when they argued.

The woman threw a broom at Walls. He in turn hit her with the broom, requiring her to receive 18 stitches to her head, Wilkins said.

Wilkins said the woman said she thought he would kill her, when he strangled her, because he hade made that threat. Police saw red marks on the woman’s throat.

Wilkins said the victim was aware of the plea arrangement. The judge granted Wilkins’ request that Walls be barred from having contact with the woman, as part of the conditions of home confinement.

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