United States Attorney Randolph J. Seiler announced that a McLaughlin, South Dakota, man convicted of Assault of an Intimate Partner by Strangulation was sentenced on January 4, 2016, by U.S. District Judge Charles B. Kornmann.
Brett Claymore, age 22, was sentenced to 30 months in custody, followed by 2 years of supervised release, and a special assessment of $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.
Claymore was indicted by a federal grand jury on May 12, 2015. He pled guilty on October 27, 2015.
The conviction stems from an incident on April 22, 2015, when Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) law enforcement was dispatched to a residence in McLaughlin, due to a domestic disturbance call. Upon arrival, law enforcement made contact with the victim who informed the officer that she had gotten into an argument with Claymore. The victim advised the officer that she and Claymore had been in a dating relationship for the past three years.
Another law enforcement officer arrived on scene and asked the victim if a physical altercation had occurred. The officer told her to be honest, because he had heard that Claymore had “choked” her. The victim looked surprised, put her head down towards her chest, and began to cry. The victim then indicated, by placing her hands around her neck, that she was grabbed around her neck and “choked” by Claymore.
The victim said that Claymore held her against the wall with both hands around her neck, “choking her.” The victim denied that she lost consciousness, but did state that she felt like she was going to “blackout” with blurred vision. The victim stated she was unable to breathe or speak to tell Claymore to stop, so she started hitting his arms to get him to stop.
Other witnesses who were present when the assault occurred described hearing the victim arguing with Claymore, when suddenly the arguing stopped and they could hear “choking” noises coming from the room. Immediately following the assault, the witnesses noticed that the victim’s face was flushed and her neck appeared to be red.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Standing Rock Agency. Assistant U.S. Attorney Troy R. Morley prosecuted the case.
Claymore was immediately turned over to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.