Casper-Area Meth Dealer Sentenced to 4-5 Years for Strangulation
A Mills man who was sentenced earlier this month to spend at least a decade in prison for his role in a meth ring will serve an additional term of imprisonment after admitting to strangling a woman in June.
Michael Dwayne Ross, 40, was sentenced Thursday to four to five years in prison after pleading guilty to one count of strangulation of a household member. A separate misdemeanor charge of false imprisonment was dropped in exchange for Ross' guilty plea.
Natrona County District Court Judge Catherine Wilking will also order Ross to pay restitution to the Wyoming victim's compensation fund, though the amount of that restitution had not been determined as of Thursday's hearing.
Just over two weeks ago, Natrona County District Court Judge Thomas Sullins sentenced Ross to 10-14 years in prison on one count of possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver.
The sentence Ross received Thursday will run consecutively to the prison sentence handed down by Sullins earlier this month.
In the strangulation case, charging documents say Ross brutally assaulted a woman after finding text messages which led him to believe the victim was cheating on him.
As he strangled her, Ross allegedly said something to the effect of, "If I can't have you then nobody can." The victim thought Ross was going to kill her, and she feared for the safety of her children, according to charging documents.
The victim reportedly told investigators that Ross had assaulted her in the past, but this was the worst incident. She did not report the previous domestic violence.
The victim declined to speak at Thursday's hearing. She also elected to not submit a written victim impact statement.
When Wilking asked Ross whether he had anything to say before the sentence was imposed, Ross flatly said, "I'm sorry."
Assistant District Attorney Daniel Itzen outlined Ross' criminal history during Thursday's hearing.
His past includes a domestic battery in West Virginia in 1998, a DUI in Iowa in 2000, a felony weapon possession charge and manufacture or possession of methamphetamine charge out of California in 2002, one count of making an explosive device in California in 2006, a felony drug possession charge in 2007 and a battery charge in 2008.
As Ross was drunk during the most recent assault, Wilking included in the sentencing order a recommendation for Ross to participate in the intensive treatment unit while incarcerated.