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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Colorado

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Ute Mountain Ute Man Found Guilty Of Violent Sexual And Physical Assault of Wife Following Week-Long Jury Trial

DURANGO – United States Attorney Jason R. Dunn announced that David Sidney Wells, age 43, of Towaoc, Colorado, was found guilty last week of federal sexual and physical assault charges following a week-long jury trial.  Wells appeared at trial in custody and was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service at the trial’s conclusion.  The FBI and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) joined in today’s announcement. 

Wells was indicted by a federal grand jury on four counts – Aggravated Sexual Abuse, Assault with the Intent to Commit Aggravated Sexual Abuse, Assault Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury and Assault with a Dangerous Weapon.  According to court documents, as well as facts presented during trial, on March 9. 2019, Wells assaulted his wife of ten years in their residence on the Ute Mountain Ute Indian Reservation, in Towaoc, Colorado.  Wells repeatedly struck his wife in the head with a wooden club, kicked her in the stomach to induce a miscarriage, and punched her in the face.  Wells then sexually assaulted her before strangling her to unconsciousness.  The victim’s injuries were so severe that she was medically evacuated by airplane to a Lakewood, Colorado hospital. 

Following the assault, Wells fled the scene.  At the time of the assault, Wells had a warrant for his arrest from a case brought by the State of Colorado for Assault in the Second Degree by Strangulation, as an act of domestic violence, related to an assault against his wife from August of 2018.  Additionally, Wells had a prior history of domestic violence convictions in tribal court. 

The defendant was indicted on April 5, 2019.  He was founded guilty on February 7, 2020, following a jury trial before U.S. District Court Judge Blackburn.  Wells is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Blackburn on June 7, 2020 in Durango, Colorado.  Wells faces up to life in prison.

“Sexual assault on the Ute Mountain Ute Reservation will always be vigorously prosecuted by this office,” said U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn.  “Wells was responsible for a brutal and violent assault against this victim.  He is now facing a significant prison sentence.” 

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA).  The defendant was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeff Graves and R. Josh Player.

Topic(s): 
Indian Country Law and Justice
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Jeff Dorschner Spokesman, Public Affairs Officer U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Colorado 303-454-0243 direct; 303-454-0400 fax
Press Release Number: 
CASE NUMBER: 19-cr-00160-REB
Updated February 11, 2020