Prosecutor: Assault on wife 'worst case of domestic abuse'

2011-09-15T18:00:00Z 2011-09-16T00:25:04Z Prosecutor: Assault on wife 'worst case of domestic abuse'

By GREG TUTTLE

Of The Gazette Staff

The Billings Gazette
September 15, 2011 6:00 pm  • 

Bond was set at $100,000 on Thursday for a Yellowstone County man accused of nearly killing his wife during an attack in front of the couple’s 10-year-old son.

Keith Allen McGill, 45, appeared in Justice Court by video from the county jail on five felony counts of aggravated assault and four counts of assault with a weapon.

Judge Pedro Hernandez set the bond amount at the request of a prosecutor who described the attack as the worst she has seen in eight years on the job.

Deputy County Attorney Ann-Marie McKittrick said McGill beat, kicked, burned, slashed and whipped his wife and tried to pull out her tongue during an assault at the couple’s rural residence.

The victim suffered wounds so severe, McKittrick said, that her face was unrecognizable.

McGill was “absolutely drenched in the victim’s blood” when he was arrested, the prosecutor said.

“This is by far the worst case of domestic abuse I’ve ever seen,” McKittrick told the judge.

Hernandez ordered McGill to appear Sept. 23 for arraignment in District Court.

According to charging documents, McGill was arrested Monday after several 911 calls were made about an assault, including a call from the couple’s 10-year-old son, who had run to a neighbor’s house.

When deputies arrived, they found McGill and another man arguing, and McGill was placed in handcuffs. The man said he was McGill’s neighbor and friend, and he made one of the 911 calls after McGill called him to say his wife was “half dead” and he was going to roll her into a ditch.

The man said he went to McGill’s residence and heard McGill’s wife screaming. He said he held McGill long enough for the woman to escape. She was driven to a hospital by another man who arrived.

The man said he had been out drinking with McGill earlier in the day, and McGill was angry

about an issue involving

disability payments.

The woman was interviewed at the hospital. She said McGill came home, crashed through the front door, knocking it off its hinges, and began punching and kicking her. The woman said she recently had back surgery, and McGill stomped on her back.

The attack continued. The woman was struck with a lamp that tore her scalp, burned with a cigarette, beaten with a belt, choked and attacked with a knife. The woman said that at one point, McGill threatened to kill her and tried to yank her tongue from her mouth. He narrowly missed slashing her throat with a knife, court records said, striking her chin instead.

“She said she had no doubt but that her husband intended to kill,” court records state.

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