Jealous Athens man allegedly hit and strangled wife


Gary Lee Martin

By Joe Johnson

An Athens man reportedly was arrested Monday morning for hitting and strangling his wife.

Gary Lee Martin, 41, assaulted the 39-year-old victim because he was jealous of her for talking to another man at the pool area of The Columns of Timothy Woods apartments, where the couple lived, according to an Athens-Clarke County police report.

Police learned of the alleged assault after the victim’s teenage daughter called 911 to report that her father hit her mother and her mother was trying to keep her out of the apartment by keeping the door closed.

Officers arrived to find Martin sitting on some steps outside the apartment, but he refused to answer any questions and when he became irate and got in an officer’s face the officer threatened to shock him with a Taser, according to the police report, which noted that Martin was arrested and placed in handcuffs when he tried walking away from the officer.

When the responding officer spoke with the victim, she related that after using a grill near the pool, she asked a man who was getting ready to use the grill what he was going to cook, according to the report.

The woman said as the night continued, she and Martin drove around some, with him accusing her of flirting with the man at the pool, according to the report.

The argument continued after they returned to the apartment, where Martin allegedly struck his wife on both sides of her face, at which time she felt as though she was going to pass out, according to the report. Martin then allegedly pushed his wife against the wall and squeezed her by the throat while threatening to kill her.

The victim reportedly struggled to get out the words “I can’t breathe,” and Martin eventually let her go.

However, Martin returned several minutes later and squeezed the woman’s windpipe, and when she began gagging, he let her go again so she could go into the bathroom to possibly vomit, according to the report.

The victim had visible injuries consistent with being struck in the face and strangled, the report noted.

Martin was charged under the state Family Violence Act with battery and two counts of aggravated assault.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Martin continued to be detained at the county jail without bail being set.

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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