Idaho woman testifies boyfriend beat her, got toddler to help

Idaho woman testifies boyfriend beat her, got toddler to help

(Cassia County Jail)

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BURLEY, Idaho (AP) — An Idaho woman testified that her boyfriend severely beat her on Thanksgiving and enlisted her toddler to help torture her.

David Gifford, 36, of Burley faces charges of felony domestic battery, injury to a child and attempted strangulation. His girlfriend took the witness stand Friday in Cassia County and recounted an attack in which she says she was punched, kicked and strangled, The Times-News reported.

The 29-year-old woman said Gifford also stabbed her with a knife and got her toddler to join in.

"He told my son to go grab a knife," she said. The woman thinks the boy returned with a butter knife because Gifford told him: "No, a sharp one." Gifford retrieved two steak knives, one of which he handed to the boy.

He held her down while boy stabbed at her several times in the stomach, the woman testified, but not hard enough to penetrate her skin.

Gifford flipped her over and told the boy, "Stab mommy again," she said.

"One was pushing into me and the other was quick jabs," she said.

The woman said the holiday had begun with guests at their home and a turkey dinner. Gifford, who had become intoxicated, became enraged over the turkey and started berating her, according to the woman's testimony. At one point he went in the kitchen and began "tossing the turkey around," and ripping it apart.

"I was scared," she said. "It didn't seem like something a sane person would do."

She said Gifford put her in a headlock and flipped her onto a bed when she tried to call the sheriff's office.


Gifford's attorney, Peter Wells, questioned the woman about whether she took medication that day, whether she had been drinking and if she had struck Gifford in the face, causing a black eye. She acknowledged hitting him.

Wells said the woman's account differed from what she told deputies after the incident.

But Judge Blaine Cannon said he found the woman's testimony credible and there was enough evidence to warrant the felony charges.

Gifford will be arraigned Jan. 23.

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