Former U.Va. student pleads guilty to abduction, assault

Cayden Dalton admitted to attacking his ex-girlfriend after Block Party in August


Cayden Dalton, a former third-year College student, was arrested Aug. 26 and charged with misdemeanor assault, felony strangulation and felony abduction.

Courtesy Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail

Former third-year College student Cayden Jacob Dalton — charged with attacking his ex-girlfriend following last year’s Wertland Street Block Party — pleaded guilty to felony abduction and felony unlawful wounding in Charlottesville Circuit Court Friday afternoon.

Dalton — who is no longer enrolled at the University — was arrested Aug. 26 after Charlottesville police responded to a 2 a.m. call from his ex-girlfriend, also a University student. 

Areshini Pather, deputy commonwealth’s attorney for Charlottesville, testified in court that Dalton appeared at his girlfriend’s residence visibly drunk after she ignored his text messages the night of the assault. She drove Dalton to his home where he prevented her from leaving. 

According to Pather, Dalton accused his girlfriend of cheating — and shouted insults at her. He then choked his victim from behind after she threw a glass of water in his face. Dalton also allegedly jammed his hand into her mouth, which resulted in bruising on the back of her trachea — which Pather said is consistent with blunt-force trauma. The testimony also stated that Dalton repeatedly banged her head on the floor, resulting in bruising on her neck and hemorrhaging in her eyes — also consistent with blunt-force trauma.

Dalton told police officers in his initial interview that he wished that she had died, Pather added.  

Under Dalton’s plea deal — which was accepted by Judge Humes J. Franklin — Dalton will serve a two-year protective order that prohibits him from any contact with the victim and promise not to return to U.Va. or Charlottesville. Dalton’s sentencing is scheduled for May 2.

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