Coeur d’Alene Tribal Member Sentenced to 27 Months in Prison for Strangulation
COEUR D’ALENE – Raymond Lee Baheza, 56, of Spokane, Washington, was sentenced yesterday in federal court to 27 months in prison for strangulation, U.S. Attorney Bart M. Davis announced. U.S. District Judge David C. Nye also ordered Baheza to pay $2,500 in restitution to the victim and to serve three years of supervised release following prison.
According to the plea agreement, on October 19, 2017, Baheza, a Coeur d’Alene Tribal Member, strangled and suffocated his wife while she was lying in bed. He also struck her multiple times causing bruising to her face, eyes, neck, arm and hip. The assault occurred on the Coeur d’Alene Indian Reservation.
The federal crime of strangulation, codified at 18 U.S.C. § 113(a)(8), became effective in March 2013. As in this case, the crime is most often used by federal prosecutors to charge defendants who commit non-fatal strangulation offenses against a spouse, intimate partner or dating partner. The statute defines "strangling" as "intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly impeding the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of a person by applying pressure to the throat or neck, regardless of whether that conduct results in any visible injury or whether there is any intent to kill or protractedly injure the victim." The statute also covers suffocation and attempted strangulation or suffocation.
This case was investigated by the Coeur d’Alene Tribal Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.