A 28-year-old Cheyenne man accused of beating and choking his pregnant girlfriend pleaded not guilty Friday to charges of aggravated assault, strangulation and domestic battery.

Laramie County District Court Judge Thomas Campbell reduced John M. Ricketts' $5,000 cash bond to 20 percent of $1,000, which he posted, and ordered he have no contact with the victim.

Ricketts' arrest came after a woman, identified as his girlfriend and the mother of his unborn child, told police that on August 4 Ricketts had attacked her in their room at the Hitching Post Inn.

Ricketts' trial has been set for December 11. He's facing up to 15-and-a-half years in prison if convicted on all three counts.

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