Food Network star and celebrity chef Darnell Ferguson was arrested near Louisville, Kentucky, and accused of breaking into a woman’s home and strangling her.
Ferguson, 36, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to seven different charges connected to the alleged Jan. 2 attack, the Louisville Courier Journal reported. He was released on $10,000 bond.
Ferguson’s attorney said he shares three children with the alleged victim, according to local Fox affiliate WDRB. The victim and her attorney told the judge they agreed for his bond to be lowered from $20,000 to $10,000, in part because Ferguson is needed to help care for the kids.
According to a police report, Ferguson broke into the woman’s home in the Louisville suburb of St. Matthews on Jan. 2, punched walls inside the residence, then began strangling the woman and threatening to kill her, WDRB reported. The victim told police she lost consciousness and awoke to Ferguson telling her that “she was his and no one else’s.”
The woman was taken to a local hospital for treatment of her injuries, according to police. Cops snapped photos of the woman’s injuries, including red marks and scratches.
Ferguson was arrested on Tuesday and charged with second-degree burglary, first-degree strangulation, fourth-degree domestic violence with minor injury, third-degree terroristic threatening, menacing, third-degree criminal mischief and theft, according to Lexington Fox affiliate WDKY. Cops said he also took the woman’s credit cards and identification when he left the scene.
Ferguson’s lawyer claimed Wednesday that the alleged victim wants the charges to be dismissed, WDRB reported. County prosecutor Cristin Southard said it is not uncommon for domestic violence victims to make such a request.
“They may think they want to reconcile but … these are very serious allegations, and we have concerns,” Southard told the outlet. “Recantation, minimizing, those are all parts of the cycle of domestic violence.”
Ferguson’s preliminary court hearing was scheduled for Jan. 18.
Ferguson hosts “Superchef Grudge Match” on the Food Network and has been part of several other shows on the channel. He originally gained culinary fame through multiple restaurants in Louisville.
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