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Man accused to trying to strangle former girlfriend

WINONA — A Winona man has been charged with trying to strangle his former girlfriend.

John Howard Bartz, 43, of 1063 W. Fifth, later told Winona police his only regret was "that he didn't finish it" and he was sorry a child saw the assault.

He was charged March 25 in Winona County District Court with attempted first-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder, which each carry maximum penalties of 20 years in prison, first-degree burglary (10 year and/or a $35,000 fine) and domestic assault with intent to inflict bodily harm, fifth-degree assault with intent to inflict bodily harm and criminal damage to property (five years and/or $10,000 fine).

The complaint alleges Winona police were called to a residence March 23 because of a report of a burglary. The homeowner met them at the door, saying "Hurry! Hurry! He's in there. He's going to kill her. I can't breathe, I can't breathe."

They could see someone had shattered the door frame.


When police went inside, they saw Bartz strangling a woman and bouncing her up and down. A 4-year-old was sobbing on the bed.

Bartz refused to stop trying to kill the woman so two officers had to wrestle with him, using batons and tasers until he stopped. "Defendant stated that he planned (it) and knew that he was going to prison."

Police learned he went to the home and kicked in the front door. He began choking his ex-girlfriend's mother until he saw his girlfriend and began choking her.

Bail was set at $500,000; his omnibus hearing is set for April 21.


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