Salem man arrested for strangulation, domestic battery

Staff Writer Kate Wehlann

Troy Earhart, 41, Salem, was arrested Thursday, Jan. 24, for hitting and stranguling his wife.

The day before, Indiana Adult Protective Services officer Jimmy Strange requested Indiana State Police Detective David Mitchell help him investigate a complaint received through his agency. A woman had told an acquaintence her husband, Earhart, had choked and shoved her and that manipulation and physical and mental abuse had been ongoing and the caller feared Earhart’s wife was in danger. The caller said bruises from an incident a week before were still visible.

That afternoon, Mitchell and Indiana Police Sergeant Bill Wibbels contacted Earhart and his wife at their home.

She told Mitchell she had been the victim of domestic abuse on many occasions. On Friday, Jan 18, she and Earhart had gotten into an argument and she said Earhart had grabbed her by the shoulders and tried to shove her through a doorway. Later, he slapped her with an open hand and grabbed her around the throat with both hands and choked her. She said she tried to fight back and head-butted him.

Mitchell said he could see bruising on her face and she showed him photos from her phone showing injuries she said were a result of the attack.

The couple have two children, both in school at the time of the interview, but are from out of state and don’t have a network of family or friends in the area. She told Mitchell she was scared of Earhart.

Earhart admitted to police he shoved and slapped his wife during an argument, and further admitted his hand touched her throat area when he pushed her with his hand, but that she had head-butted him first. He showed Mitchell a photo on his iPad of a contusion-like injury on his lower lip, dated the same day as the photos on her phone. She denied head-butting him first and repeated it was defensive while she was being attacked.

Earhart told Mitchell he understood why his wife was scared of him. He admitted to having a temper and that he had lost his temper during the argument. Mitchell mentioned specifically in his report that Earhart is 6 feet tall and 265 pounds, while his wife is 5-foot-3 and only 150 pounds.

Earhart’s wife told Mitchell her husband’s behavior went back more than a decade, when he pushed her down and broke her wrist. Earhart claimed it was only when she rushed up to him.

Earhart was arrested and charged with strangulation and domestic battery on a $5,000 bond. He was released from jail four days later.


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