Jose Miguel Ortez-Herrera booking photo

By Shereen Siewert

A 41-year-old man is facing recommended charges including attempted first-degree intentional homicide after he allegedly tried to strangle and stab a woman on Christmas.

Jose Miguel Ortez-Herrera, of Abbotsford, appeared Monday in Marathon County Circuit Court for a probable cause hearing in the case. Formal charges have not been filed against Ortez-Herrera, who is from Nicaragua and previously worked in law enforcement.

The Marathon County Sheriff’s Department responded to the alleged attack, which happened in Stratford. Sheriff’s officials say Ortez-Herrera was “very aggressive” toward the alleged victim, a woman who was able to escape and drive herself to a local emergency room.

Citing the seriousness of the allegations against Ortez-Herrera, prosecutors asked Circuit Judge Greg Strasser to set a high bond in the case. Bond was ultimately set at $25,000, the first $5,000 of which must be paid in cash.

Ortez-Herrera remains behind bars as of Tuesday. An initial appearance is set for Jan. 10.