York man accused of attacking woman to be sentenced

YORK – Mackenzie Blankenship, 29, of York, who was formally charged with first degree assault, assault by strangulation and first degree false imprisonment, has changed his plea and will be sentenced later this summer.

This week, in York County District Court, he pleaded no contest to two counts before Judge James Stecker.

According to court documents, officers with the York Police Department were dispatched to a house in the 1600 Block of North Iowa Avenue, on the report of a possible assault in progress.

When officers arrived, they heard sounds coming from an apartment including a woman’s voice as she was pleading, “let me go” and “stop.” The officers’ affidavit filed with the court says her voice was “hoarse and distressed.” Due to the repeated pleas and the nature of the call, officers immediately entered the residence and found Blankenship on top of a woman with his hands around her neck. The officers indicate in their affidavit the woman was red in the face and appeared to be gasping for air.

The officers identified themselves and ordered Blankenship to show his hands. The affidavit says he raised his hands and was immediately taken into custody.

The officers saw “numerous abrasions and red marks on both sides and the front of her neck, and finger/hand marks could be seen in the swelling of the skin on her neck.” They said she was short of breath, distraught and an ambulance was called.

Court documents indicate she stopped breathing several times and had to be provided “with manual breathing.” She was taken to York General Hospital.

Officers spoke with a witness who said he had gone to retrieve a ball near the apartment in question when he heard a man say, “You are going to die” and there were signs/sounds of some sort of altercation inside. He then made sure the police were called.

Blankenship was initially charged with first degree assault, a Class 2 felony, which was amended to assault by strangulation, a Class 3A felony. He pleaded no contest to the amended charge.

Another charge of assault by strangulation was amended to third degree domestic assault, a Class 1 misdemeanor, and he pleaded no contest to the amended charge.

The third count, false imprisonment, was dismissed.

Sentencing has been set for Aug. 14.

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