Estrada pleads 'not guilty' to strangulation charge


SUBLETTE COUNTY – Mark S. Estrada, living in Bondurant and charged with strangling and multiple domestic batteries of a woman sharing his apartment, appeared in 9th District Court on Thursday, Oct. 14, at 4 p.m.

At his arraignment, Estrada change faced to the felony charge of strangulation of a household member and 13 misdemeanor charges of domestic battery, based on the victim’s specific injuries documented after his Sept. 13 arrest.

Law enforcement responded to a call on Sept. 13 at the Elkhorn Lodge that a man and woman had been arguing and that it looked like Estrada had beaten the woman that day and the day before, according to affidavits.

A deputy was asked to help the frightened and bruised woman so she could gather her belongings from Estrada’s apartment; he was reportedly very drunk at that time, they said. The woman said Estrada had struck her a number of times over the past several days.

The deputy was patrolling in the Big Piney area and arrived an hour later, according to court records. Other deputies, a Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper and Sublette EMS also responded.

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, an 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 on her neck; the woman said on Sept. 12 Estrada reportedly closed both hands around her throat for about 10 seconds.

Sublette County Deputy Attorney Clayton Melinkovich filed 16 charges against Estrada on Sept. 16 in Circuit Court, where Estrada waived his preliminary hearing.

Melinkovich noted Estrada would face 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.

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 misdemeanors carries maximum penalties of six months in jail and $750 fine.

Estrada’s $500,000 cash or bond was adjusted to $50,000 cash as surety at his attorney’s request.