'I have killed people before,' Athens man allegedly said while strangling girlfriend


Ronnie Gene Scogin

By Joe Johnson

An Athens man was arrested last weekend for allegedly strangling and punching his girlfriend during an altercation on May, according to an Athens-Clarke County police report.

 While on top of the victim and choking her, 53-year-old Ronnie Gene Scogin reportedly told the victim he was going to kill her and that he had killed in the past.

According to the police report, the incident allegedly occurred the evening of May 15 in the yard of a home on Harve Mathis Road where Scogin was believed to be staying.

The victim, a 36-year-old Winterville woman, said she was at that residence when Scogin got upset because she couldn’t give him a ride to a store earlier that day, and she confronted Scogin about him possibly talking to another woman, according to the report.

The woman reported to police that when Scogin began to approach her in a manner that made her fear for her safety she retrieved a baseball bat which she swung at him but missed. She then used the bat to shatter a window of his truck, the report noted.

Scogin reportedly then took the bat and threw it before pushing the woman to the ground.

“Scogin was now on top of (the victim) and struck her at least once in the face in the area of the eye,” according to the report. “Scogin then placed his hand on (the victim’s) throat with such force she believed she was going to lose consciousness.

“While choking her Scogin states ‘I’ll kill you because I have killed people before,” according to the police report.

Another man who resided at the Harve Mathis Road home broke up the altercation, at which time the victim drove home in her car, the report noted.

When an officer responded to the victim's Winterville home, he noticed that the woman’s clothing was disheveled and stained with dirt and grass, both of her eyes were swollen and bruised, and she had marks and bruising “commonly known as strangulation marks” on her neck, according to the report.

A woman who lived at the Harve Mathis residence told police she saw the other man who lived there break up the altercation before Scogin fled into the woods. The other man acknowledged that there had been a fight, but “it was not his business and he did not see anything,” according to the police report.

The officer was unable to locate Scogin and he subsequently obtained warrants charging the suspect with aggravated assault and battery.

He was arrested by deputies Saturday afternoon and taken to the Clarke County Jail, where there was felony probation violation warrant on file that stemmed from a previous theft by shoplifting conviction.

When booked into the jail Scogin's residence was listed as being on Athens Road.

As of Wednesday morning, Scogin continued to be detained, without bail being set for the aggravated assault charge.

Anyone who is in an abusive relationship can seek advice and services by calling Project Safe’s 24-hour hotline at (706) 543-3331, or by visiting http://www.project-safe.org.

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