Suspect accused of choking man, then hitting him with shovel

A Maricopa teen is facing attempted murder charges following an altercation in Maricopa the escalated to the point where a man was strangled and attacked with a shovel, the Kern County Sheriff's Office reported.

Jessy James Miller, 19, of Taft is accused of strangling Christopher Taylor, 21, of Maricopa before using a shovel as a weapon.

Kern County Sheriff's Sgt. William Little said deputies received a report of an assault with a deadly weapon in progress about 10:20 p.m. and the caller reported a shovel was being used as the weapon.

Deputies arrived and were told that Miller and Taylor got into an argument that escalated into a fight.

At one point, Little said, Miller put his hands around Taylor's throat and began strangling him.

Taylor broke free, but Miller then picked up a shovel and hit Taylor in the back with it, Little said.

When Taylor tried to flee, Miller continued the assaulted, Little said.

Taylor ran and Miller threw the shovel at Taylor, striking Taylor in the back again. “Miller got in a vehicle and followed Taylor as he ran.  Taylor was able to get away and seek help at a nearby residence,” Little said.

Deputies and Taft Police began looking for Miller and he was found in Taft a short time later in the vehicle.

Miller was booked into Kern County Jail and charged with attempted murder, assualt with a deadly weapon and brandishing a weapon.

Taylor injuries were not life threatening, Little said.