Jeremy Couch, 33, of Gurnee

A 33-year-old U.S. Navy sailor has been ordered held in Lake County Jail until his trial after strangling a woman following a drunken attack in their Gurnee home in May, court officials said.

Jeremy Couch, 33, is facing a class 2 felony charge of aggravated domestic battery/strangulation and a class 3 felony count of aggravated battery/strangulation following an incident in the home May 25.

If found guilty at trial of the most serious charge, Couch could be sentenced up to seven years in jail. The charge is also probationable.

It’s unclear at this time what the relationship between Couch and the victim is but both resided in the Gurnee home at the time of the incident, authorities said.

It’s also unclear at this time what Couch’s position or rank is with the Navy.

Assistant Lake County State’s Attorney Colleen McConnell said in court that Gurnee Police were called to the home on May 25 by the victim, who said she required an ambulance.

When the officers arrived, Couch exited the home to speak with them. However, officers said Couch was exhibiting signs leading them to believe he was intoxicated, McConnell said.

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Officers entered the home and saw the victim walking down the stairs with blood on her arms, legs, and clothing.

She told officers she and Couch were in a verbal argument while cooking, but the argument turned physical and Couch grabbed her by the neck and started choking her.

While choking her, McConnell said Couch lifted her off the ground by her neck, using enough force to make it feel like she was unable to breathe.

Couch then threw the victim on the kitchen floor, causing her to hit her head to the ground where she sustained a laceration to the back of her head.

During the verbal argument, Couch asked the victim if she wanted to die, McConnell said.

McConnell said Couch had a firearm in the home, but that the gun was locked away throughout the entire incident and never taken out. However, she added, Couch having access to a gun was “concerning.”

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The victim also told officers there had been previous unreported domestic violence incidents inside the home, McConnell said.

“The defendant told officers that nothing had occurred in his head,” McConnell said in court. “When he (Couch) was asked about her injuries, he advised there had been no physical contact, despite (victim) having multiple visible and obvious injuries.”

Couch also made suicidal statements to officers, McConnell said, prompting police to place him on an involuntary hold at the hospital for psychiatric care.

Lake County Assistant Public Defender Gregg Wolpoff argued during the detention hearing that a military investigation into the incident was underway and Couch could be quarantined at Naval Station Great Lakes rather than in Lake County Jail until trial.

However, Lake County Associate Judge Theodore Potkonjak said, because a liaison from the U.S. Navy was not in attendance during the detention hearing, it was unknown what restrictions the Navy could place on Couch should he be released from jail. 

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“Because no one from the Navy was in attendance to answer questions on whether he’d be restricted on the base, I have to make an uneducated decision, given the amount of violence the court heard,” Potkonjak said. “I don’t know what his state of mind is at this point, so I have to find he is a real and present threat at this time.”

Couch is due back in court on July 9.