NORRISTOWN — An Abington man who authorities alleged threatened a woman with butcher knives and choked her during a domestic assault is headed to prison.
William Gerry Gourley, 33, of the 100 block of Washington Lane, was sentenced in Montgomery County Court to 1½-to-3-years in a state correctional facility after he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of strangulation and terroristic threats in connection with a Christmas Day 2018 incident at his then residence.
Judge Richard P. Haaz, who accepted a plea agreement in the case, also ordered Gourley to complete two years’ probation following parole, meaning Gourley will be under court supervision for five years.
Gourley, whose most recent address was in the 400 block of Keswick Avenue, was ordered to have no offensive contact with the victim as a condition of the sentence.
Other charges of simple assault, harassment and recklessly endangering another person were dismissed against Gourley as part of the plea agreement.
Abington police responded to the Washington Lane residence about 6:42 p.m. Dec. 25 to investigate a report of “a subject armed with a butcher knife after a physical domestic,” according to the criminal complaint. The victim told police a verbal argument had turned physical. Three adults and three children were present during the altercation, police alleged.
“Gourley reportedly walked to the kitchen counter, grabbed three butcher-style knives in his left hand and began swinging them around,” Abington Township Police Officer Alison Delaney alleged in the arrest affidavit.
While swinging the knives, Gourley allegedly told the victim, “I’m going to kill you,” according to the criminal complaint.
“Gourley continued holding the three butcher knives in his left hand and began striking the victim with his right fist with an open palm in the area of her face, neck and arms,” Delaney alleged, adding Gourley also punched the woman with a closed fist. “Visible injuries were observed on the victim’s face.”
Gourley then pressed his right hand against the woman’s throat “in a choking fashion,” police alleged.
“Gourley made this motion twice throughout the altercation, applying pressure to the victim’s throat both times,” Delaney alleged.
Gourley left the scene prior to police arrival, court papers indicate.