Man charged with strangulation qualifies as 'habitual offender'

SUBLETTE COUNTY – A man living in Bondurant is charged with strangulation of a household member and 13 separate counts of domestic battery – each based on specific injuries he allegedly struck to a woman who was living with him.

Mark S. Estrada remains in custody since his Sept. 13 arrest with bond set at $500,000 cash or surety, according to court records. A handful of deputies and a Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper participated in his arrest at an Elkhorn Lodge apartment. Several filed affidavits detailing the incident and interviews with the woman he allegedly beat and strangled on Sept. 12-13, court records show.

The strangulation charge as a habitual offender has maximum penalties of 10 to 50 years in prison and $10,000 fine. Estrada is also charged with misdemeanors of unlawful contact and breach of peace; each of 15 misdemeanor charges carries maximum penalties of six months in jail and $750 fine

Sublette County Deputy Attorney Clayton Melinkovich filed 16 charges against Estrada on Sept. 16 in Circuit Court, where Estrada’s preliminary hearing is set for Friday, Sept. 24, at 9:30 a.m. In the criminal information, Melinkovich noted Estrada faces the felony strangulation charge as a “habitual offender” with two previous felony convictions, one for stalking in Campbell County and one for assaulting a peace officer in Pueblo County, Colorado.

On Sept. 13, the Elkhorn Lodge owner called Sublette County dispatch, asking for a deputy to come help the woman who lived with his tenant Estrada so she could gather personal belongings, an affidavit says.

She was afraid to go into the apartment alone, he said, adding it could be a domestic violence scenario. Sgt. Jack Killey, on duty near Big Piney, said he could be there in an hour. His affidavit says that the “very frightened” woman had multiple bruises on her face and hands and he called Sublette County EMS to come to Bondurant.

The woman said Estrada had hit her a number of times over the past several days, it says. Another tenant and an employee said Estrada had hit the woman and they had argued for several days.

When Sublette EMS arrived, a deputy took the woman to the ambulance while others covered possible exits and arrested Estrada, who was “highly intoxicated” and would not come to the door, the affidavit says.

Female deputies interviewed the woman, noting “multiple bruises all over her body in different stages of healing.” The woman had black eyes, finger-shaped bruising, patches of hair pulled out, older bruising over her back and bruises from her knees to ankles on both legs, according to their affidavits. She was taken by ambulance to St. John’s Hospital.

They asked the woman about blood spots in her eyes and bruises around her neck; the woman said on Sept. 12 Estrada closed both hands around her throat allegedly for about 10 seconds.

Estrada is ordered to have no contact with the woman or anyone from the Elkhorn Lodge.