St. Croix man charged with choking woman

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ST. CROIX - A St. Croix man was arrested Tuesday on assault charges, and the judge at his advice-of-rights hearing on Wednesday doubled the amount of his bail because of the violent nature of the charges and the fact that he has an extensive criminal history.

Richard Durham, 52, was arrested about 2:45 p.m. Tuesday after police said he assaulted a woman by punching her and choking her repeatedly until she blacked out.

The victim told police that when she came to, Durham choked her again, then apologized to her.

The woman went to Luis Hospital, and hospital officials said the vessels in the victim's eyes were ruptured and there was possible damage to her trachea, according to police.

Durham appeared before V.I. Superior Court Magistrate Jessica Gallivan on Wednesday morning on charges of first- and second-degree assault.

His bail initially was set at $75,000, but Gallivan said because of his extensive criminal history and the serious nature of the crimes, she was increasing the bail to $150,000.

Durham remains jailed, unable to meet the conditions of release.

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