United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that a McLaughlin, South Dakota, man convicted of Domestic Assault by a Habitual Offender was sentenced on June 9, 2014, by U.S. District Judge Charles B. Kornmann.
Lawrence Village Center, a/k/a Larry Village Center, age 46, was sentenced to 57 months of custody, 3 years of supervised release, $286 in restitution, and a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.
Village Center was indicted by a federal grand jury on November 14, 2013. He pled guilty on January 17, 2014.
The conviction stems from an incident on August 31, 2013, in McLaughlin, when the Fort Yates Police Department received a 911 call reporting that Village Center was assaulting an adult female with a hammer.
A Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) officer made contact with the victim in the kitchen of her home. The officer was informed by the victim that she was walking towards the family home when she was shoved to the ground from behind by Village Center, who then struck her several times about the head and body with a hammer. After assaulting the victim, Village Center approached the family van and broke out the windshield with the hammer.
Village Center has two prior judgments of conviction for Domestic Abuse in Standing Rock Tribal Court for offenses that would have been, if subject to federal jurisdiction, an assault against a spouse or intimate partner.
This case was investigated by the BIA, Standing Rock Law Enforcement Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Troy R. Morley prosecuted the case.
Village Center was immediately turned over to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.