A man accused of strangulation of a household member pleaded not guilty to the charge in Albany County District Court today.

Saikou Diallo faces up to five years in prison if convicted of the charge.

According to court documents, Diallo was arrested on Sept. 5 after Laramie Police Officers were called to an alley near an apartment building in Laramie for a report of a fight occurring between a woman and a man. When they officers arrived, they found the woman and decided she was safe. Bystanders were pointing to the other side of the apartment building, telling officers the man was walking down the street.

Officers found the man and had him sit on the ground while they spoke to him. Diallo told officers he was in a relationship with the victim and he was paranoid that she was cheating on him. Diallo said they had argued earlier that day and that he thought she was going to leave and he did not want her to. Diallo initially stated that nothing had happened in the alley, but later said he had grabbed the victim’s hair and forced her to the ground so he could talk to her, court documents state.

An officer also spoke with the victim, who was upset and crying. The officer noticed scratches on the victim’s legs and visible bruising on her neck, as well as petechiae, or small red bumps near the edge of her eyelid, which the officer knew to be indicative on someone being strangled, according to the affidavit.

The victim said she and Diallo had gotten into a fight and Diallo had pushed her to the ground and was holding his hands on her throat while yelling at her. The victim said Diallo had placed his hands on her neck the night before as well and pointed to a mark on her neck she said was from that incident. She said the incidents had happened because Diallo was very jealous, court documents state.

Officers also interviewed a witness who had been in the alley and corroborated the victim’s statement.

Defense attorney David Korman asked that Diallo’s bond, currently set at $10,000 cash, be modified to allow Diallo to find employment, which he said Diallo was confident he could do. Korman said Diallo was in Laramie attending the University of Wyoming, but he was not enrolled for the current semester but hoped to return for the next semester.

County Prosecutor Peggy Trent said the state was concerned Diallo was a danger to the victim as well as a flight risk. Trent also said that Diallo was not a U.S citizen and she didn’t know why Immigrations and Customs Enforcement hadn’t been involved yet.

Albany County District Judge Tori Kricken agreed with Trent and said bond would remain at $10,000 cash.

Diallo’s trial is set for April 18 and 19.

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