Sunday, September 14, 2008

Man gets 5 years in prison for choking "girlfriend" to death

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) - A man faces five years in prison for putting his girlfriend in a deadly sleeper hold in front of his teenage son in Lake Stevens.

The sentence was issued Thursday to 47-year-old Terry Calvin Van Allen for the death of 41-year-old Clella Colson. Her body was found in her home on April 28, 2007, and Van Allen pleaded guilty three months later to second-degree manslaughter and violation of a no-contact order.

Van Allen could have been sentenced to eight years if he had been convicted of first-degree manslaughter as initially charged.

He wept in court, saying they had been fighting and he only wanted to render Colson unconscious. He put her in a sleeper hold, squeezing the carotid artery in her neck to prevent flood from reaching her brain.

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