United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that Thomas James Jones Winston, age 28, of Timber Lake, South Dakota, appeared before United States Magistrate Judge Mark A. Moreno on April 11, 2012, and pled guilty to Count II of an Indictment that charged him with Assault by Striking, Beating and Wounding. The maximum penalty upon conviction is 6 months in custody, a $5,000 fine, or both; and a $10 special assessment.
The charges arise from an incident that occurred in Timber Lake on March 8, 2012, when Winston assaulted a female victim, punched her right eye, grabbed her around the neck from behind, took her to the ground, and pinned her by holding her shoulders and arms. Winston also placed his hand over her mouth so she could not scream.
The investigation was conducted by the Northern Plains Safe Trails Drug Enforcement Task Force. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jay Miller.
A presentence investigation was ordered, and a sentencing date was set for June 6, 2012. The defendant was remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal pending sentencing.