CASTLE DALE, Emery County — A Marine stationed in Maryland has been charged with attempted murder in Emery County after prosecutors say he and his girlfriend began arguing during a road trip and he tried to strangle her.
Robert Matthew Barney, 22, was charged Wednesday with attempted murder, a first-degree felony. The charge stems from a domestic dispute that happened Monday night at a gas station in Green River, according to Emery County sheriff's spokeswoman Janalee Luke.
"Witnesses at the Chevron had observed a man and a woman in a car and they could tell there was a struggle going on," Luke said, adding that witnesses told deputies the man was choking the woman.
When the bystanders intervened, they said the man ran from the car, crossed a set of railroad tracks and headed into open country. The 20-year-old woman had injuries consistent with being strangled and was bleeding from one of her hands, deputies said.
"She refused medical treatment and said she just wanted to take the vehicle and continue on to her family in Colorado," Luke said.
Based on our investigation and on statements that (Barney) made, detectives presented the case to the Emery County Attorney's Office and he is now being charged with attempted murder.
–Janalee Luke, Emery County sheriff's spokeswoman
Deputies searched for the man, identified by the injured woman as her boyfriend, Robert Barney. When they did not immediately find him, they had dispatchers send out a reverse 911 call to alert the public, Luke said.
The next morning, Barney showed up at the Green River Medical Center. He did not request any medical care, Luke said. The staff believed he matched the description of the man mentioned in the reverse 911 call and contacted deputies, she said.
Barney was arrested. Investigators said Barney told them he is a Marine and was on a road trip with his girlfriend when they began arguing at the gas station in Green River and things became physical.
"Based on our investigation and on statements that (Barney) made, detectives presented the case to the Emery County Attorney's Office and he is now being charged with attempted murder," Luke said.
A native of Limestone, Texas, Barney joined the Marines in April 2014 and was promoted to private first class six months later, according to 2nd Lt. Monica Witt, a spokeswoman for the Marine Corps. He is part of a Chemical Biological Incident Response Force based in Indian Head, Maryland, and has never been deployed, Witt said.
Barney is being held without bail in the Emery County Jail. His first court appearance is set for May 5.