Two Frankfort men were indicted in separate cases for allegedly trying to strangle a person in a domestic situation.

Earlier this week, the Franklin County grand jury returned indictments against 38-year-old Caleb Charles Riggs on charges of second-degree strangulation, a Class B felony, and violation of an EPO/DVO, a Class A misdemeanor, for an incident on May 19.

Zack Estes, 24, was indicted separately on a charge of first-degree strangulation, a Class C felony, and two counts of fourth-degree assault, a Class A misdemeanor, in connection with a May 4 incident.

Both incidents reportedly involved domestic violence, Franklin Commonwealth’s Attorney Larry Cleveland said. The strangulation statute took effect about a year ago, and in that time, Cleveland said he has presented about a dozen cases to the grand jury. 

So far, strangulation cases have been difficult to prosecute, he said, whether the victims don’t want to prosecute for the risk of prison time or there being little physical evidence of harm to the victim.

“More times than not, the victim doesn’t want the perpetrator charged with a felony,” Cleveland said. “They’ll get into a physical situation, tempers cool and they don’t want anything really bad to happen to the perpetrator.” The charges are often reduced to misdemeanors.

Strangulation, according to the statute, involves impeding “the normal breathing or circulation of blood by another person applying pressure on the throat or neck of the other person.”

First-degree strangulation, Cleveland said, requires an intentional act, while second-degree specifies wanton conduct and involves disregarding the potential harmful outcome of the act.

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