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Press Release

Toppenish Man Sentenced to Prison for Strangling and Threatening His Partner with a Firearm

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Washington

Yakima, Washington - Vanessa R. Waldref, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Tyler Jonas Senator, age 24, of Toppenish, Washington has been sentenced after pleading guilty to one count of Brandishing a Firearm During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence, and one count of Assault of a Spouse, Intimate Partner, or Dating Partner by Strangling or Suffocating. Chief United States District Judge Stanley A. Bastian imposed a sentence of 84 months and 1 day imprisonment to be followed by 5 years of supervised release.

According to court documents and information presented at the sentencing hearing, on April 23, 2023, Senator, and his partner, who are both enrolled members of the Yakama Nation, were driving in the victim’s vehicle. Senator assaulted the victim by grabbing the victim’s neck and strangling her, leaving bruises and scratches around the victim’s throat. Later that day, Senator and the victim were inside their house in Toppenish. Senator resumed the assault, hitting, kicking, and biting the victim. Senator also hit the victim in the head with the butt of a rifle, then pointed the firearm at the victim and threatened her.

“Mr. Senator assaulted the victim, who is the mother of his young child, by choking her and hitting her with a firearm. I commend the bravery of the victim in coming forward,” said U.S. Attorney Waldref. “Everyone deserves to live in a safe home free of domestic violence.  We recognize that indigenous communities suffer domestic violence at much higher rates than many other demographics. We are committed to addressing violent crimes in Indian country and elsewhere and holding perpetrators accountable.”  

“While no sentence will take away the horror of being assaulted by a trusted partner, we hope this case shows our continued commitment to fighting back against violent crime on our state’s reservations,” said Kelly M. Smith, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Seattle field office.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Yakama Nation Police Department. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael Murphy.


Robert Curry 

Public Affairs Specialist 

Updated March 18, 2024

Firearms Offenses
Indian Country Law and Justice