Federal Jury Convicts Tulsa Man of Domestic Violence Strangulation, Firearms Charges
TULSA, Okla. – A Tulsa man who strangled his pregnant girlfriend multiple times and threatened her with a firearm was found guilty Wednesday by a federal jury, announced U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson.
Dakota Wayne Campus, 28, was convicted of assault of an intimate/dating partner by strangling and attempting to strangle in Indian Country; assault with a dangerous weapon with intent to do bodily harm in Indian Country; carrying, using, and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence; and felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.
On February 4, 2022, at approximately 10 am, Tulsa Police were dispatched to a home to investigate a possible domestic violence disturbance as reported in two 911 calls. One caller reported that she heard a woman yell “get the gun out of my face,” a person being hit, and someone being dragged in the apartment. A second caller reported that he heard a woman scream “stop” in an apartment above him and then someone being thrown around. He reported that the woman upstairs was pregnant.
When arriving at the apartment, Tulsa Police officers made contact with a woman in the apartment. Officers immediately observed injuries on the victim who said her fiancé, Dakota Campus, assaulted her and jumped out of the apartment window when police arrived. She said she had been in a relationship with Campus and was 18 weeks pregnant with his child.
The woman stated that Campus took her cell phone and strangled her twice on Feb. 3, 2022, and on Feb. 4, 2022, she tried to speak to Campus about the pregnancy when he became angry and threw her cell phone out the window. The victim said she attempted to go to her neighbors for help, but Campus chased her into the apartment complex’s hallway brandishing a silver handgun and drug her back into the apartment. He then threw the victim to the ground, broke her eyeglasses, strangled her, pushed her head into the ground, pointed a gun at her face and threatened to shoot her and the police. Campus eventually allowed the victim to get up but continued to strike her. When police knocked on the door, Campus warned her not to tell the police about him and jumped out the apartment window.
She further told officers she was afraid of Campus and was worried he would kill her. She reported that she tried to get away from him previously, but he always found her and threatened her with violence if she filed charges.
Officers noted bleeding lacerations on the victim’s lips, red swelling on both cheeks, and red marks consistent with strangulation wrapping around her neck. A paramedic with EMSA who treated the victim testified at trial that the victim told him about the violence that had occurred on Feb. 3 and 4 and also complained of head and neck pain. He personally observed bruising around the victim’s left eye and both cheeks, a laceration on her upper lip and multiple marks and abrasions on her face and neck.
The victim was transported to St. John’s Broken Arrow where she was treated by an emergency department doctor who testified that the victim told the doctor her fiancé “choked” her with his hands, struck her in the face multiple times, and tried to smother her. She told the doctor that he put all his weight on her lower abdomen and that she was pregnant. She also complained about head and neck pain.
In addition to receiving treatment for her physical injuries, the woman was further treated for psychological trauma and provided assistance with safety planning.
On Feb. 11, 2022, Tulsa Police officers apprehended Campus after he attempted to evade arrest by running into a drainage ditch and under a bridge where he discarded the firearm. The gun matched the description provided by the victim.
Campus, a felon, is prohibited from possessing a firearm. His previous state felony convictions include robbery with a firearm in 2015. He was sentenced to 20 years in state prison but was released March 9, 2021, with time served and 14 years suspended. The Court cited the COVID-19 epidemic as a reason for his early release. The Tulsa County District Attorney’s Office has since filed a petition to revoke his suspended sentence.
Studies have found that domestic violence strangulation is a significant predictor of future attempted and completed murders, increasing the odds of death by more than seven times. While signs of strangulation are not always visible, strangulation can result in long-term psychological and physical injuries to victims, including depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, traumatic brain injury, strokes and more. Timely intervention is critical to minimize the short and long term negative effects of strangulation.
To find resources for domestic violence victims, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE (7233) or visit their website at thehotline.org. In an emergency, call 911.
The FBI and Tulsa Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stacey P. Todd and George Jiang prosecuted the case.