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Portage man accused of strangling woman on Christmas
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Portage man accused of strangling woman on Christmas

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A 38-year-old man is accused of strangling a woman on Christmas Day in Portage.

Benjamin Lawrence Bungert, Portage, faces up to six years in prison for felony strangulation and suffocation and is also charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

According to the criminal complaint, police interviewed the alleged victim Jan. 18 regarding incidents that occurred at a Portage residence Dec. 25. Bungert and the woman were in the middle of a verbal argument when she tried to leave the residence, but Bungert held her down by the throat and told her she wasn’t going anywhere. The pressure on her throat restricted her breathing.

Bungert told police he and the woman argue often and they all start to blend together, the complaint states.

Bungert, free on a $2,000 signature bond, has a pretrial conference scheduled for Feb. 10 in Columbia County Circuit Court.

Online court records show Bungert was convicted of 10 felony burglary charges in Waushara County in 2000. Seven of those counts were for burglary of a building or dwelling and the other three were for burglary of a motor/trailer home. State Department of Corrections records indicate Bungert, who was then 18 years old, did not serve time in prison for these convictions.

Follow Noah Vernau on Twitter @NoahVernau or contact him at 608-695-4956.

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