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By PHILLIP WILLIAMS
A 115th District Court jury sentenced Christopher Hayden Anderson to 40 years in prison Friday after convicting him Thursday of assault/family violence by occlusion in a case where the victim testified the crime didn’t occur although she had recorded the audio of it, said Upshur County District Attorney Billy Byrd.
Anderson, 30, of Big Sandy, represented by Longview attorney Sung R. Kim, used the woman’s testimony as his defense, Byrd said. Nonetheless, the 6-man, 6-woman jury took about an hour to convict him and perhaps about an hour and a half to decide sentence, the prosecutor said.
In a news release, Byrd said the victim “was a girl friend of the defendant who was uncooperative with the state after receiving threats the defendant continuously made to her following the assault.”
The district attorney, who tried the case, gave these further details in a news release:
On May 24, Anderson entered the victim’s home and strangled her before striking her multiple times.
“The victim hid a camera and recorded the audio of the assault. However, during trial the victim was called by the defense, who testified under oath that this crime did not happen and that she didn’t want the case prosecuted. But due to the evidence, the state was able to aid the jury in seeing through the victim’s testimony for the defense due to the threats she has received.”
Anderson had received a 7-year prison term for a prior felony conviction of assault/family violence in 2019, and was on parole when he committed the May 24 crime.
After issuing the news release, Byrd said Monday he asked jurors for “a strong sentence” while the defense sought a term on the “lower end” of the punishment range.
115th District Judge Dean Fowler presided in the trial.