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Winona man accused of witness tampering of domestic abuse victim, released on own recognizance

A Winona man who is accused of assaulting a woman is now accused of telling her to lie about about her testimony and assaulting her again. He is also accused of shooting at someone with a pellet gun.

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WINONA — A 27-year-old Winona man is accused of assaulting a woman and asking her to change her testimony in a different domestic assault case against him, according to charges filed in Winona County District Court.

Awstyn Wayne King appeared before District Judge Jeremy Clinefelter on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023, and was ordered released on his own recognizance provided he have no contact with the victims, not use alcohol or controlled substances or use or possess firearms or dangerous weapons.

King is charged with two counts of aggravated first-degree witness tampering, domestic assault by strangulation and three counts of terroristic threats, all felonies. He is also charged with two misdemeanor counts of domestic assault.

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King's next court hearing is scheduled for March 2, 2023.

He is also charged with theft in a separate June 2022 incident in Winona County.

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According to the criminal complaint:

King bit and strangled a woman during the early morning hours of Oct. 26, 2022, in a Winona residence. He also told her to change previous statements she made against him to police. The woman is named as the victim in a July 2022 incident where King is accused of a similar assault.

At one point, the woman began to shake and convulse during the most recent assault due to a lack of oxygen.

As King was twisting the woman's hand, he bit her. Another victim named in the complaint grabbed a pool cue and yelled at King to let her go.

King then shot at the other victim with a pellet gun at least three times inside the residence and possibly once or twice outside. While shooting at the second victim, King yelled "I'm going to kill you."

Mark Wasson has been a public safety reporter with Post Bulletin since May 2022. Previously, he worked as a general assignment reporter in the southwest metro and as a public safety reporter in Willmar, Minn. Readers can reach Mark at mwasson@postbulletin.com.
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