A Colorado man already on probation for domestic violence allegedly assaulted, used a deadly weapon -- gasoline -- and strangled a woman in late August in Natrona County, an assistant district attorney said Friday.

Michael Brundage, 43, heard those and other charges read at his initial appearance by Natrona County Circuit Court Judge Brian Christiansen.

"This is one of the most serious (cases) concerning domestic violence before us," Assistant District Attorney Blaine Nelson told Christensen.

For his part, Brundage later argued with the Christensen and Nelson.

Brundage is charged with four felonies and one misdemeanor that occurred between Aug. 22-24:

  • Aggravated assault, which is punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment.
  • Two counts of domestic battery, each the third time in 10 years, which are each punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment.
  • One misdemeanor count of false imprisonment, which is punishable by up to one year in jail.
  • Strangulation of a household member, which is punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment.

Nelson requested, and Christensen agreed, to set Brundage's bond at $100,000 cash only. The judge also ordered him to not have any contact with the alleged victim and to not leave Natrona County because he is a flight risk.

Nelson recounted Brundage's recent history with the law saying he left Colorado to avoid incarceration on other domestic violence charges, interfered with officers, and threatened to engage in a standoff with officers to die by suicide by cop.

In the most recent events, Brundage on two separate days assaulted the victim by strangulation and dousing her with gasoline, with one instance having taken her to a remote part of the county to commit the crime, Nelson said.

He already had appeared before Circuit Court Judge Michael Patchen who ordered him to have no contact with the victim, but Nelson said that he repeatedly called her.

However, Brundage said he was in Wyoming because his probation officer in Colorado told him it would be good for him to leave for a while.

He also denied the allegations that he contacted the victim. "There's no way in the world I would do anything to harm her," he said.

Brundage agreed that he was intoxicated and made some dumb decisions, but the prosecution isn't telling the whole story about him, he said. "There are some things that aren't getting said."

If Brundage does not bond out within 10 days, he will have a preliminary hearing during which the prosecution will present evidence that a crime probably occurred and that Brundage probably committed it.

If a judge agrees, he will be bound over to Natrona County District Court for trial.

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