Box Elder Man Gets 20 Years in Prison for Strangulations, Rapes, Stabbing, and Assaults
GREAT FALLS, MO—Dallas Lawrence, 33, of Box Elder, Montana, was sentenced today to 20 years in prison after a Montana jury convicted him of seven felonies, including two rapes, two strangulations, two assaults with intent to commit murder and assault with a dangerous weapon. In addition to the twenty-year prison sentence, U.S. District Judge Brian Morris also sentenced Lawrence to five years of supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system.
Evidence presented at trial by Assistant United States Attorney Laura Weiss showed that Lawrence and the victim were in a verbally and physically abusive relationship. In September 2013, Lawrence stabbed the victim in her calf. She was found walking around Havre, Montana, and was taken to the ER, where medical personnel observed the stab wound. The victim told medical personnel that her boyfriend had stabbed her in the leg and that she was in an abusive relationship. She said Lawrence had also tried to break her arms and legs to keep her from leaving.
The evidence also showed that in March 2014, Lawrence strangled the same victim with a humidifier cord after asking her, “How do you want me to do you in, fast or slow?” The victim was able to slip two fingers under the cord, but she still couldn’t breathe. She managed to escape the cord. Lawrence continued to control the victim after that by making her stay in her room, and dictating where she went and who she was around. He kept the keys to the car and made threats to her about trying to leave him.
In May 2014, the defendant again strangled the victim after beating her. He asked her again if she wanted to die fast or slow. He gripped both hands around her neck and began to strangle her. She tried to slide away, but he kept strangling her to the point that she blacked out. Lawrence later told her he thought he had killed her and was going to hide her body in a crawlspace until he could find a place to bury it. During the same time period in early summer 2014, Lawrence forced the victim to have sex with him on two occasions.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Laura B. Weiss prosecuted the case.