Victoria man gets 12 months for choking girlfriend

Published 5:10 pm Friday, April 22, 2016



A 22-year-old Victoria man was sentenced recently in Lunenburg Circuit Court to one year in jail after being convicted of strangling his 30-year-old girlfriend in front of her 6-year-old child.

According to Lunenburg Commonwealth’s Attorney Robert Clement, Travis M. Moorefield and the victim had “been arguing about their relationship when he began to talk ‘ugly’ toward her, and she told him to leave.”

“A conviction, at one point, looked unlikely when the victim died about two weeks later of an unrelated natural cause, deep vein thrombosis causing a severe pulmonary embolism,” Clement said. “This type of case usually requires the testimony of the victim to state that what happened and that her breathing was cut off.

He said Desera Denise Edmonds, who heard the altercation from her apartment, pulled Moorefield off of the victim.

“Not only was she brave enough to get physically involved, Ms. Edmonds also testified at the preliminary hearing to get the case certified to the grand jury, and was prepared to testify at the circuit court trial, but Moorefield chose to plead guilty. I hope her example will inspire others to practice such courage and devotion to innocent, helpless victims, and to see that criminals are held accountable and that justice is done,” said Clement.

The charge stemmed from an incident on the morning of Jan. 1.

“The victim told the police that Moorefield pushed her into a full-length mirror, breaking it, and as she went outside, he followed her and grabbed her. She broke away and said she was going to call the police, but he broke her cell phone,” Clement said in the release. “She went back inside the apartment where she said he struck her in the face and began choking her. She told police she could not breathe. She said her neighbor pulled him off of her, and he fled into the nearby woods.”

Clement said that Moorefield was not found until the next morning by a state trooper when someone called the sheriff’s office, saying that he had returned to the apartment complex. “Photographs of the victim  showed redness around her neck,” Clement said.

Moorefield admitted striking her, but would not say anything about strangling her, Clement said.

Moorefield was sentenced to the maximum limit of five years in prison with all suspended except the 12 months.

“The defendant will be subject to conditions of good behavior for five years, supervised probation upon his release for one year, no contact with the family of the victim and with the witnesses, counseling for substance abuse and anger management and warrantless searches for five years,” Clement said.