Jury Convicts Tulsa Man for Strangling and Repeatedly Punching his Dating Partner

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3 mins read

A federal jury found a Tulsa man guilty Tuesday for assaulting and strangling a dating partner, announced U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson.

Dhylian Whalin Rhain Gonzalis, 30, of Tulsa, was convicted of assault of an intimate/dating partner by strangling, suffocating, and attempting to strangle and suffocate in Indian Country and assault resulting in substantial bodily injury to an intimate/dating partner in Indian Country. The jury returned their verdict in in less than 30 minutes.

“Because of Dhylian Gonzalis’ criminal actions he will now spend time in federal prison where he can no longer batter his dating partner. Strangulation is a serious violent criminal offense that can lead to death,” said U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson. “Domestic violence prosecutions save lives. This office will continue seeking justice on behalf of survivors and will connect them with community partners who can provide needed resources for mental and physical recovery.”

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On Aug. 28, 2020, the victim and Gonzalis, who were dating at the time, got into an argument. Gonzalis punched the victim in the right eye and continued striking her eight times before she was able to retrieve a phone and run to the hallway bathroom with the intention of calling 911. Gonzalis chased her and berated her for trying to call for help. He then slammed through the bathroom door, grabbed the victim by the neck, lifted her off the floor, pressed her up against the wall, and strangled her until she was nearly unconscious.

At the time of the assault, Gonzalis was on parole with the state of Oklahoma for trafficking methamphetamine. He begged the victim not to call the police, threatened to kill himself, and told her to take him to a relative’s house.

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Once she dropped him off, the victim quickly drove to her brother’s house, and later contacted authorities. Responding officers took pictures of her injuries, and the victim made her statement. The victim suffered a severe black eye, various cuts and bruises, and defensive wounds on her arms. She also had visible strangulation marks around her neck and her voice was hoarse.

The Tulsa Police Department and FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas E. Buscemi and Edward Snow are prosecuting the case.


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