Man convicted of strangling girlfriend headed to prison

MARQUETTE — In late July, a jury found Steven Devalle, 42, guilty of assault by strangulation and interfering with electronic communication causing injury or death. On July 5th, 2016, police say Devalle assaulted his then girlfriend.

During his trial, the victim said Devalle tackled her, bit her, and choked her, telling her to, ‘go to sleep.’

“As hard as this is today, my friends and family seated in the courtroom could very well be sitting in the sentencing of a murder trial,” said the victim. “A bit more pressure or a few more seconds of strangulation would have made all the difference.”

According to a letter from her psychiatrist, the victim suffers from permanent Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, anxiety, and depression.

“The worst thing though is you took away a basic human need- the need to feel safe. You are the reason I triple-check door locks and deadbolts. You’re the reason I check on my children multiple times a night or when I hear a noise,” said the victim.

Before Judge Karl Weber sentenced him, Devalle did address the court.

“Unfortunately with the trial, it actually left me with more questions than answers due to different variations of stories and events and facts,” said Devalle. “Sometime in the future, whether it’s 10, 20 years down the road, I would like an honest, accurate, unembellished count of the true events that happened that evening.”

“I find it somewhat unfathomable that you’re not taking responsibility here and that you hope to find the truth somewhere down the road in 10-20 years,” said Judge Weber. “You committed an extreme, extreme act of violence, a brutal assault that is not acceptable,” he added.

Judge Weber sentenced Devalle to 36 months in prison, with credit for 14 months already served.