Friday, February 23, 2024

McCormick pleads guilty after reaching deal with prosecutors

by Derrick Perkins Western News
| January 14, 2020 12:07 PM

Christopher Lee McCormick, 52, pleaded guilty to a strangulation charge in Lincoln County District Court as part of a deal with prosecutors late last month.

Authorities arrested McCormick on Oct. 19 after Eureka Police officer Grigori Neils responded to a domestic abuse report on 3rd Avenue. In an affidavit, Neils wrote that he recognized the address, having responded to past incidents at the location.

When he arrived, Neils found the female victim distraught. She told him her husband assaulted her and showed him a bruised arm as evidence, court documents said.

Neils also noticed red marks on her neck, according to the affidavit.

The couple had argued about finances before the assault, the victim told Neils. McCormick had been drinking, she said.

When the violence began, the victim asked for help from a neighbor, who pulled McCormick off of her while he attempted a chokehold, court documents said.

The victim “seemed frightened of her husband, just like she had been in previous encounters I’ve had with them,” Neils wrote in the affidavit.

When he later approached McCormick, Neils recalled finding him appearing intoxicated, with a blank, glazed look and very glossy eyes. He did not respond to commands either verbally or physically, Neils wrote.

In the affidavit, Neils reported asking the man what had happened three times without receiving a response. When McCormick did speak, his speech was slurred and carried a heavy odor of alcohol.

“I’m gonna not answer any questions,” McCormick allegedly told Neils.

When Neils arrested McCormick, the man began to struggle. En route to the patrol car, McCormick tensed his body, forcing Neils and a Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office deputy to grab his arm and escort him to the vehicle, court documents said.

In the affidavit, Neils wrote that McCormick could barely walk.

McCormick became restless later at the detention center, court documents said. While finishing paperwork, Neils heard him shout for help. When Neils arrived, he found that McCormick had tied his sheets around his neck and the cell as if to hang himself, the affidavit said.

Neils and another officer cut him down. They then placed him in belly cuffs.

McCormick was held on a $50,000 bond and initially pleaded not guilty to all charges. In exchange for his guilty plea, prosecutors dropped the partner or family member assault charge. They recommended a deferred, two-year sentence.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Jan. 27.