Prosecutors have charged a Billings man with felony aggravated assault, alleging that he put his common-law wife of 14 years in a headlock during an argument Tuesday.
Paul Harless Hicks, 41, made an initial court appearance Wednesday. Justice Court Judge Pedro R. Hernandez set the man’s bond at $20,000.
According to an affidavit, police arrested Hicks on Tuesday after responding to a report of a disturbance on the 800 block of Wyoming Avenue.
A woman reported that she and her common-law husband, Hicks, had been fighting about furniture for several hours.
The woman stated she tried to leave the house, but Hicks, who she said has been abusive in the past, blocked her way and taunted her with the keys to her car, prosecutors said.
Hicks put her in a headlock, choking her until she became dizzy and making her afraid for her life, she said.
The woman was able to get free and go outside, where she broke the window out of her car in desperation and grabbed some money before she ran away and was picked up by a passerby in a van.
Hicks, who also faces a misdemeanor tampering charge alleging he broke his wife’s phone, is scheduled to appear in Yellowstone County District Court on May 27.