Big Island prosecutors record 50 strangulations

HILO (AP) — Prosecutors say they are alarmed by the more than 50 cases of domestic strangulation that occurred on the Big Island last year.

Hawaii County First Deputy Prosecutor Dale Ross tells the Hawaii Tribune-Herald that strangulation is a predictor for the “subsequent homicide of victims of domestic violence.”

Prosecutor Mitch Roth says the number of strangulation cases appears to be on the rise, but there hasn’t been adequate tracking of past cases.

Domestic strangulation is a felony crime punishable by up to five years in prison.

Ross says prosecutors are considering charging those who “use strangulation to silence their victims” with attempted homicide.

He says they are determining when and where the higher charge could be appropriate.