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CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — A Marine accused of trying to choke his girlfriend with a belt June 25, 2006, took the stand Thursday to tell his side of the story.

Cpl. Tristan R. Williams, 23, with Headquarters Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group told a jury that his former girlfriend, Seaman Daevita Dumas, was lying Wednesday when she described an abusive relationship in which, she said, Williams hit her. She testified that two days before the choking incident, he pushed her into a fan, causing her to cut her back.

“I never choked her,” Williams testified, also denying that he ever hit or punched her or pushed her into a fan.

Williams said Dumas was the abuser in the relationship and that he only pushed her or grabbed her arms to keep her from hitting, kicking or biting him.

The defense showed a photo taken by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service of what was described as a bite mark in Williams’ neck, and a Marine friend testified to seeing Dumas hit Williams.

Williams said that on June 25, 2006, Dumas was never even in his room and that he played video games from 8 p.m. to about 10 p.m. with Cpl. Walker Jennings, whose room shares a common area with his.

Jennings testified that we was with Williams during that time, saying the two split a six-pack of beer. He said he went to sleep about 10 p.m. and has no knowledge of what might have happened after that.

Dumas returned to the stand Thursday to reiterate that she was in Williams’ room that night from 6 to 11:15 p.m., and that she never saw Jennings.

The jury was expected to begin deliberating Friday.


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