Prosecutor: Silver Spring Man Strangled Fiancée, Gouged Her Eyes As He Killed Her
Anthony Strong was denied bail after what an attorney described as crime of "extreme violence"
A Silver Spring man who called police Tuesday to admit to killing his fiancée allegedly strangled her and gouged her eyes, a prosecutor said.
Anthony Strong, 50, called 911 at 6:48 a.m. from the house he shared with his fiancée, Chaunya Michalyn Blackwell, 43. Police said Strong called to report that he killed her.
When police arrived at the Bradbury Manor Court house, Strong was waiting in the driveway, according to court documents. He directed police to Blackwell's body inside.
The homicide that allegedly occurred after an argument the couple had the previous night was a crime of “extreme violence,” prosecutor Debbie Feinstein said in Montgomery County District Court in Rockville on Wednesday.
Feinstein said Strong had his hands on Blackwell's neck and face as he strangled her. She said he at one point removed one hand from her neck to press his fingers into her eyes.
When Strong saw her hand move, indicating she was still alive, he put a pillow over her face for 30 to 40 seconds “to make sure she was dead,” Feinstein said.
“He described that he had snapped,” Feinstein said during a bail-review hearing. “He was angry at her for spending his money.”
Blackwell's body, which police said showed signs of trauma, was taken to the chief medical examiner’s office in Baltimore for an autopsy.
Police previously described Strong and Blackwell as dating, but court documents and the State's Attorney's Office stated that they were engaged.
Judge Patricia Mitchell ordered Strong to be held without bail Wednesday, noting the seriousness of the first-degree murder charge against him.
Strong appeared on video feed from the Montgomery County Detention Center in Rockville. He remained quiet except to respond to Mitchell: “I wish to not say anything, ma’am.”
Leonard H. Addison IV, a public defender representing Strong, said his client’s previous criminal record was limited to a battery charge from more than 20 years ago.
Maryland court records indicate Strong was charged with battery and assault in 1994, though both charges were eventually dropped. He pleaded guilty to assault and battery in a separate case in 1996.
Addison said Strong has five children aged 14 to 28 and has worked in construction in the area for 20 years.
“His life consisted of mainly working,” Addison said.
Strong faces a maximum sentence of life in prison. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Dec. 1 in District Court.