One of Montgomery County's most influential union leaders was acquitted on charges Thursday that he choked and pointed a gun at his wife after she refused to testify against him.

Gino Renne, president of the Municipal and County Government Employees Organization, faced up to 25 years in jail for charges that he assaulted his wife, Joan Renne, during a May fight at their New Market home. According to court records, he aimed a revolver at her head and choked her because she wanted to attend a birthday party.

She refused to speak out against him in Frederick County Circuit Court, though, citing marital privilege when she took the witness stand -- effectively evaporating the state's case.

The couple declined to comment about the incident to The Washington Examiner, but Renne's lawyer, Kate English said, "From the beginning, we have been prepared to vigorously defend this case." She added the couple was "focused on their family and marriage."

Judge Theresa M. Adams informed Joan Renne she wouldn't be allowed to use the same privilege again. The couple attended the trial together and Renne previously said they went on a "respite to spend some much-needed time together and seek the necessary guidance to strengthen the bonds of our marriage."

Area lawyers who specialize in domestic disputes say it is common, particularly for women, to not testify against their spouses following a violent clash.

According to court records, during the May altercation, he charged at his wife with a revolver aimed at her head and screamed, "I am going to [expletive] kill you."

He also threw her on the bathroom floor and yelled that she was a "[expletive] whore," "white trailer park trash" and "worthless," police said.

Renne said he would keep his MCGEO leadership post, telling The Examiner, "As of today, I'm back on the job." Renne makes $182,000 a year, records show.

Two Northeastern-based unions, the United Public Service Employees Union and National Correctional Employees Union, have targeted Renne's legal troubles during their attempted takeover of the group, saying his leadership was nonexistent and that he "made statements to [his wife] that would disgust anyone."