Philadelphia News & Search
The Montgomery County man in jail for for allegedly abusing his children —including by shock with an electric dog collar — has been charged with beating his wife over a period of several years, causing permanent disfigurement.
The beatings inflicted by Joseph K. Myhre, 44, of Collegeville, left his wife with permanent discoloration of her calves, fractures in her hand that required surgery, and a disfigured ear from repeated blows to the head, prosecutors said Thursday.
The new charges came days after Myhre was jailed for beating his two children, now ages 11 and 13. Police said he punched, kicked, choked, and struck them in beatings that also included sticking needles under their fingernails to make them bleed and shocking them with electric dog collars. The abuse began when the younger child was about 4 or 5, she told police, and escalated into daily beatings.
Myhre remains in the Montgomery County jail. His lawyer did not return a message left Thursday.
Police began investigating when Myhre’s wife drove herself to the hospital following a beating last month. She told police she had waited until he went to sleep to leave, and she was diagnosed with a fractured skull. Myhre initially was charged in that one instance of beating his wife, but was arrested again last week after police investigated the wife’s claims that the children had also endured prolonged abuse.
“We are dealing with some folks that have been really damaged by horrific acts by a violent individual,” District Attorney Kevin R. Steele said earlier this week.
Steele said that the allegations that horrific abuse continued for years before police were alerted can be typical of domestic violence cases.
“When you deal with domestic violence, this is so often a hidden crime, and I think now that the actions have come out, I’m sure that there’s a lot of people that wish they had done more,” he said. “We need to recognize that, unfortunately, as one of the aspects that we deal with in domestic violence investigations.”
Myhre’s wife told police that she had to have surgery in 2013 after he held her on the floor and twisted her hand, according to a new arrest affidavit filed in the case.
Police said Myhre abused his wife using methods similar to the abuse he is accused of inflicting on his children. He used an electric dog collar to shock her, the woman told police. Officials said in court documents that the family did not have a dog.
His wife also has cauliflower ear on her left ear, “from repeated impacts,” police said. Other alleged abuse includes strangling her, striking her with a stick, and sticking lancet needles into her tongue, toes, and fingers. Police said her calves are permanently discolored from beatings with a stick. Once, she told police, he stabbed her in the hand with a steak knife.
In a written statement to police, Myhre said he had struck his wife “a few times” and said that she had been to the hospital in the past as a result of injuries to her hand, according to the affidavit.
Myhre was arraigned on the new charges Thursday. Magisterial District Judge Cathleen Rebar set his bail at $2 million, raising it from the $1 million amount she set last week.
Myhre is scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing May 1.
Philadelphia News & Search