Accused strangler gobbles 57 pills before arrest after nasty tiff

An Ocala man accused of strangling a woman during an argument about a loud TV set was hospitalized after taking more than 50 muscle relaxant pills when he heard law enforcement was going to be called.

Donald Lilly, 55, of SE 30th Street, was charged with domestic battery by strangulation after the incident, which happened shortly after midnight Monday. He was taken to AdventHealth Ocala for observation and was awaiting transfer to the Marion County Jail.

The victim told Marion County sheriff’s deputies she was sitting in her bedroom watching TV while Lilly was in the living room watching another television. The victim said she went into the living room and told Lilly to turn his TV down because it was too loud. She said Lilly came into the bedroom and started yelling and attacking her, according to the sheriff’s office report.

The victim said Lilly put both of his hands around her neck, preventing her from breathing. She said her daughter entered the room, saw the altercation and tried to separate them. The victim said Lilly let go of her and turned around and threatened her daughter. She said Lilly then punched and broke the TV and an oscillating fan in the room, the report said.

The victim said when Lilly left the room, she told him she was going to call law enforcement and he then ingested approximately 57 pills that were later identified as a muscle relaxer. The victim said she briefly coughed up blood after the incident, and the deputy observed a small spot of blood that the victim tried to clean off her shirt. She declined medical attention, according to the report.

The victim’s daughter said she heard a disturbance in her mother’s bedroom, and she entered the room and saw Lilly with his hands tightly around the victim’s throat. She said she grabbed Lilly by the shirt and tried to pull him off, and that he turned around and threatened she was next, the report said.