A Longview man originally arrested on suspicion of kidnapping and threatening to kill his girlfriend, as well as attempting to break her neck, will serve four months in jail and a year on probation.
David James Muyskens, 42 was originally accused of kidnapping and assaulting the victim during an argument, but prosecuting attorney Eric Bentson said prosecutors only had evidence to charge him with lesser crimes.
“The victim, we were never able to communicate with her,” Bentson said. “She no longer resides in our state. ... Based on the evidence that we would have been able to present at trial, we feel the resulting felony conviction ... was an appropriate result.”
On Sept. 27, police tried unsuccessfully to locate Muyskens after he attempted to chase a woman into a house but was stopped at gunpoint by one of the homeowners.
The woman, police determined, had been arguing with Muyskens about ending their long term dating relationship. While they were in a car along West Side Highway, Muyskens began assaulting her, according to police records, by choking her near to the point of blacking out and trying to break her neck.
Muyskens made repeated threats to kill her, according to police records, such as saying: “Why did you do this to me? I’m going to kill you, why did you make me kill you?”
He then restrained her as he drove them both to where he told her he was going to kill her, police reports said. When the car ran out of gas on Cook Ferry Road, a rural area along the Cowlitz River just south of Castle Rock, she escaped into a nearby house. Muyskens chased her but was stopped at pistol-point by a homeowner, the report said.
Muyskens was located Sept. 30 with the victim and arrested. Prosecutors charged him the next day with first-degree kidnapping, two counts of second-degree assault, felony harassment and third-degree malicious mischief, each as domestic violence. The charges were later amended down to fourth-degree assault and unlawful imprisonment, which he pleaded guilty to.
“These decisions, they’re not made lightly,” Bentson said. “We have to make some difficult decisions. And it’s safe to say we had to make some difficult decisions in the Musykens case.”