Tyler Fisher
Tyler Fisher

A Dover Township man who police said inexplicably choked a fellow high-school student during a graduation party in 2011 has been sentenced to state prison.

Tyler Bryant Fisher, 20, of 5250 Davidsburg Road, pleaded no contest Monday in York County Court to felony aggravated assault.

Defendants who plead no contest aren't admitting guilt. Rather, they are saying they won't contest the charges against them. Otherwise, a no-contest plea has the same effect as a guilty plea.

In exchange for Fisher's plea, other charges against him were dismissed, including attempted homicide, according to court records.

Fisher was sentenced to 5-1/2 to 20 years in prison.

Defense attorney Jeff Marshall said Fisher maintains he can't remember what happened at the party, "because of some significant drug and alcohol ingestion, which was confirmed by most of the witnesses at the scene."

Injured: His victim, a then-19-year-old Dover-area woman, told police she thought she was going to die during the July 10, 2011, attack at a party in the 4200 block of Schoolhouse Road in Dover Township.

He throttled her so badly that blood vessels in her eyeballs and face burst, causing tiny hemorrhages, Northern York County Regional Police said.

She also suffered two chipped teeth, as well as cuts an bruises on her face, scalp and tongue, according to police.

Senior deputy prosecutor Amy Eyster said it remains unclear why Fisher attacked his schoolmate. She confirmed Fisher said he'd ingested 20 Ambien sleeping pills, cocaine and about 120 ounces of malt liquor prior to the 1:30 a.m. attack.

Fisher and the young woman had been acquaintances throughout high school, but not friends, Eyster said. The two never dated, according to police.

Last-minute deal: Fisher's attempted homicide trial was scheduled to begin on Monday morning, and he entered his plea at the last minute, Eyster confirmed.

Eyster said she left it up to the victim to decide whether prosecutors should approve the plea agreement or insist Fisher go to trial. In the end, the young woman -- surrounded by supportive family members -- decided the plea agreement was the best solution, Eyster said.

"She didn't have to relive it again," Eyster said. "And she felt he was getting enough (prison) time for what he did."

The woman now attends college out of the area and is "a remarkable, strong young lady," the prosecutor said. "I think for both sides it was a fair and just outcome."

-- Staff writer Liz Evans Scolforo can also be reached at levans@yorkdispatch.com.