Accused Casper-Area Meth Dealer Arrested for Attacking, Strangling Wife
A man accused of using guns while selling meth in the Casper area and intimidating a witness was arrested Sunday for allegedly beating, strangling and locking his wife inside a trailer home.
Michael Dwayne Ross, 40, was booked into jail on charges of strangulation of a household member, aggravated assault and false imprisonment.
He also faces previously-filed charges of conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine, possession of meth with intent to deliver, use of a firearm in commission of a drug-related felony and witness intimidation. Those four charges alone could send him to prison for up to 60 years.
According to a police affidavit, Ross was in jail awaiting trial on the conspiracy charge but was bonded out Saturday afternoon.
The victim and Ross hung out for a while, but the victim had to go to work. Ross dropped her off.
A few hours later, Ross allegedly called the victim, having gotten drunk with his friends. A friend took the victim to the place where Ross had passed out and she tried to wake him up to take him home, but Ross reportedly cursed at her and told her to leave. So, the victim went home and went to bed.
At 1 a.m., court documents say, Ross woke the victim up. He had gone through her phone and saw explicit text messages between the victim and an old friend, leading Ross to accuse the victim of cheating on him while he was in jail.
The victim tried to explain the messages were a joke and she never cheated on Ross. That's when he allegedly started to hit her.
Ross punched the victim in the face, grabbing her by her hair and throwing her around the home. Ross then allegedly grabbed a bottle of vodka and forced the victim to drink it. When she would not swallow the vodka, Ross would allegedly strangle her, forcing her to drink.
The combination of drinking and strangulation made the victim throw up. Ross pushed her to the ground, where he continued to strangle her for some five seconds. At one point, the victim lost consciousness and "blacked out" for roughly three seconds.
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.
After some time, the victim laid on the bed and Ross sat nearby. Every time the victim tried to move or get up, Ross would hit her again and yell at her to lay down.
Ross left the residence at about 7 a.m. Sunday. The victim tried to leave, but the door was locked from the outside. She had to kick the door down in order to get out of the trailer, court documents say.
Ross took the victim's phone, she later told police, so she ran to a neighbor's house. Another person convinced the victim to call police.
The victim reportedly said Ross had assaulted her in the past, but this was the worst incident. She did not report the previous domestic violence.
Ross reportedly broke the television and the victim's phone during the assault. She tried to fight back, but said she wasn't strong enough.
When police arrived, a bail bonds employee who was with the victim left and said she was headed to revoke Ross's bond.
After contacting police, the victim was taken to the emergency room at Wyoming Medical Center. She had a hard time filling out the domestic violence reporting forms, as one eye was swollen shut and bleeding.
The victim's face was swollen and bruised, as were her lips and tongue. Ross allegedly left finger marks on the victim's neck where he strangled her, as well as a fingernail mark. The victim suffered extensive bruising.
She also had a broken eye socket, a broken nose and a dislocated finger. She was admitted to the hospital for an overnight stay so staff could keep her under observation.
Police later found Ross at the Natrona County Detention Center, having been booked again on a probation revocation.
Ross told police a different version of events. He reportedly said he was going to stay at work with the victim, but she told him to leave so he went to a friend's house and got drunk.
He said he did not remember the victim trying to take him home. Ross said he later walked home from 15th and Chestnut.
When he got home, Ross said, he found the victim in a vehicle out front drinking out of a bottle. He claimed she was drunk and angry, slamming the car door on Ross's hand after he tried to talk to her.
Ross claimed the victim was the aggressor, and he pushed her on the bed to stop her from hitting him. He also said he back-hand slapped the victim.
Ross also said the victim started kicking the television, so he picked it up and threw it. He also admitted to breaking the victim's phone. He claimed he only hit the victim in self-defense.
After the officer told Ross he'd be charged as a result of the incident, Ross began hitting his head on the wall. He wouldn't stop, and deputies had to subdue him.
A victim/witness representative later told police Ross had a history of making marks on himself to make the victim look bad.