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Man arrested after woman severely beaten

Published: Jul. 12, 2021 at 10:53 PM EDT
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ROANE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) – A man from Spencer has been arrested after a woman was severely beaten earlier this month, including with a logging chain, Roane County court records show.

Houston Michael Huffman, 26, faces charges including two counts of malicious wounding, one count of strangulation, unlawful restraint, domestic battery and domestic assault. Huffman and the victim had been dating for a couple of months, according to court documents.

Investigators said the victim was covered in blood, she had two swollen black eyes and her nose appeared to be broken. She was also missing part of her front tooth and had a large scalp laceration, according to the criminal complaint.

The woman told Roane County Sheriff Brian Hickman that the suspect used a hitch from a logging chain and beat her repeatedly -- with the hitch balled in his fist. She said he also tried to choke her and threatened to kill her and snap her neck.

According to the criminal complaint, the incident happened Wednesday, July 7 inside a log cabin along Cherry Valley Road. The victim was able to escape from the house, after acting like she had passed out and being placed in the bathtub by Huffman, and called for help at another house on the 4800 block of Ripley Road.

“She looked like her face went through a meat grinder after he got done beating the heck out of her,” neighbor David Fauber said.

“Beating on somebody like that, messing them up, that ain’t good,” Fauber continued. “He needs help.”

Sheriff Hickman said Huffman pleaded guilty and no contest to two domestic battery cases, across two different counties, in February 2017.

The Department of Corrections said Huffman has been booked into jail 13 times on domestic-related charges since 2014. He was most recently released from custody in December 2020, after serving the minimum of a one to three year sentence for attempt to commit malicious wounding.

“I think he deserved to stay in jail for a very long time to think about what he did,” neighbor Tabitha Brown said. “Maybe he will have a change of heart and never do that to another woman ever.”

“I just don’t want nobody up here trying to cause trouble,” Brown said about the normally quiet part of rural Roane County. “They should never do that to a woman. It doesn’t matter what they do, you should just walk away.”

Huffman is being held at South Central Regional Jail on a $955,000 bond, according to the Roane County Magistrate Clerk.

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