Detroit Lakes woman’s felony strangulation charge dismissed

DETROIT LAKES ( The Becker County District Court dismissed charges against Cleon June Fairbanks, 54, of Detroit Lakes, of felony domestic assault by strangulation and felony domestic assault.

During the evening of March 23, a Detroit Lakes police officer responded to a report that Fairbanks choked an older woman.

According to the older woman, Fairbanks got her vehicle stuck in the snowbank outside, and she contacted her grandson for assistance.

She screamed at the older woman for calling for help and said she wished she was dead when she entered the house.

Fairbanks threw the woman’s wheelchair across the room while she lay on her bed, then choked her, proclaiming, “I should have killed you long ago.”

Having Fairbanks’ hands around her neck made it difficult for her to breathe, and she said she had to use all her strength to free herself.

Fairbanks then walked out of the residence. According to the woman, Fairbanks was making strange statements, and she thought he was under the influence of something. The officer observed redness on her throat.

According to a document filed by the Becker County Attorney’s Office, the state failed to meet its burden of proof at trial because it could not locate the victim.

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