A man who had been recently released from a local psychiatric hospital pleaded guilty to one count of strangulation of a household member during a change of plea hearing in Natrona County District Court on Thursday.

In exchange for Michael Stanley's plea, prosecuting and defense attorneys agreed to dismiss one count of aggravated assault and battery, and another strangulation count.

Assistant District Attorney Bret Johnson said the proposed punishment would be a three- to five-year prison term, with all of that suspended, and three years of supervised probation and completion of a felon rehabilitation program at the Casper Re-entry Center.

Strangulation of a household member is punishable by up to five years imprisonment.

District Court Judge Catherine Wilking told Stanley, Johnson and defense attorney Kurt Infanger that she is not a party to the plea agreement and she could reject it after she reads the pre-sentence investigation.

According to court records, Stanley had been recently released from the Wyoming Behavioral Institute, where he met the female victim and began having a relationship that was abusive.

In mid-August, the female victim reported she and Stanley were at the Archery Range Campground on Casper Mountain when he pointed a knife at her and told her he was going to beat her if she didn’t do what he wanted.

The victim knocked the knife out of Stanley’s hand, injured herself, left the area and contacted law enforcement.

On Thursday, Wilking asked Stanley what happened, and he responded that the strangulation was foreplay that got out of hand.

Wilking responded that nothing in the court documents indicated the incident was sexual, and that, in fact, Stanley assaulted the victim.

Infanger asked that Stanley's bond be reduced from $25,000. Wilking agreed to reduce it to $10,000, but only if he pays in cash and does not get a surety through a bail bondsman.

A sentencing date has not been set.

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