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Fruitland man accused of strangling nurse at San Juan Regional Medical Center

Alleged incident happened on afternoon of July 10

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times
Rondale Phillip
  • Rondale Phillip, 20, is accused of a third-degree felony count of aggravated battery on a health-care worker (great bodily harm), according to the criminal complaint.
  • The San Juan County District Attorney's Office filed paperwork to keep Phillip at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center without bond as he awaits his trial.
  • District Court Judge Daylene Marsh​​​​​​​ granted the prosecution's motion during a July 16 hearing in Aztec District Court.

FARMINGTON — A Fruitland man is being held without bond after allegedly strangling a nurse at San Juan Regional Medical Center, choking her until she almost lost consciousness.

Rondale Phillip, 20, is accused of a third-degree felony count of aggravated battery on a health-care worker (great bodily harm), according to the criminal complaint.

Shane Goranson, Phillip's attorney, said he is working to get his client the help he needs and hopes the court agrees.

A Farmington Police Department officer was dispatched around 4:05 p.m. on July 10 to San Juan Regional Medical Center on reports of a patient strangling a nurse, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.

The officer spoke to the victim over the phone.

She told the officer around 3:15 p.m. that day, Phillip was yelling expletives in an unreasonably loud, violent and "quarrelsome" manner inside the hospital.

The defendant was allegedly becoming increasingly violent toward staff. The nurse tried to get Phillip to stop being disorderly and return to his room.

She said she was escorting Phillip to his room when he reached out with his hands and placed them on her neck then began to strangle her.

The nurse began to lose consciousness and was unable to breathe. Right before she lost consciousness, Phillip released her.

He was escorted to his room by security, then sedated. The nurse did not have any bruising from the alleged incident.

Phillip was later detained by police and arrested.

The San Juan County District Attorney's Office filed paperwork to keep Phillip at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center without bond as he awaits his trial.

The motion states there are no conditions of release that would keep the community safe due to the defendant's unresolved mental health issues.

District Court Judge Daylene Marsh granted the prosecution's motion during a July 16 hearing in Aztec District Court.

Phillip's preliminary hearing is set for the afternoon of July 22 in Farmington Magistrate Court.

Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

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