Prison time for man who strangled woman over drug money

Published 8:12 am Wednesday, January 26, 2011

An Austin man who repeatedly hit and strangled a woman who refused to give him money for marijuana has been sentenced to 21 months in prison.

Shawn Leroy Thoms, 42, was sentenced Thursday in Mower County Court. He was convicted of felony terroristic threats and felony domestic assault. Four kidnapping charges, along with charges of domestic assault by strangulation and fourth-degree sexual assault were dismissed.

According to a court complaint, Thoms asked the woman for money so he could buy marijuana. When she said no, he began to “box her” by punching her behind the ears repeatedly and punching her in both eyes. The woman told police he also pinched both of her breasts very hard.

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When the woman tried to leave the house, Thoms apparently pulled her back by her hair and arm, threw her onto the floor and continued hitting her.

The woman told police he choked her and said he would kill her before “going back to prison.”

According to the court complaint, Thoms was raising a small table over his head, presumably to throw at the woman, when a child walked into the room.

When police interviewed the two children who were in the house at the time of the assault, they both said they had seen Thoms strike the woman on that occasion and in previous incidents. They “snuck out” of the house to call police after Thoms threatened to kill the woman if she called.

Thoms denied assaulting the woman and said they had a “loud argument.”

He has previously been convicted of fifth-degree assault, violating a restraining order and disorderly conduct.