Watkins man pleads to felony assault charge
WILLMAR -- Edward Alan Ruchti, 30, of Watkins, pleaded guilty Tuesday to a felony charge of domestic assault by strangulation.
The case had been scheduled for a jury trial this week in Kandiyohi County District Court.
Under the plea agreement, a felony charge of terroristic threats and a gross misdemeanor charge of domestic assault were dismissed.
Ruchti will be sentenced June 30.
He was charged with assaulting his girlfriend, and threatening to kill her 5-year-old child, during an incident Feb. 4 as the couple was driving to Eagle Lake north of Willmar.
According to the complaint, Ruchti had been drinking and became angry with the woman. While she was driving the car, Ruchti is reported to have grabbed the woman's hair, slammed her head into his knees and wrapped his arm around her neck to choke her. The woman told police at the time that Ruchti threatened to kill her and her son.
She was eventually able to stop the vehicle and threw the keys in the ditch. Ruchti found the keys, drove away and left the woman on the edge of the road without a coat. As she ran in the snow in the ditch, her shoes fell off. She was later taken by law enforcement to the Shelter House.