Jury convicts Tulsa man for strangling and punching his dating partner

TULSA, Okla. — Content Warning: The following article contains descriptions of a domestic violence incident.

A federal jury found a Tulsa man guilty Tuesday for assaulting and strangling a dating partner, according to the U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson’s office.

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.

According to Johnson’s office, the jury returned their verdict 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,” Johnson said. “Strangulation is a serious, violent criminal offense that can lead to death.”

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 get away. She grabbed a phone and ran into the hallway bathroom in order to call 911. Gonzalis chased her and berated her for trying to call for help.

He then slammed through the bathroom door, grabbed the victim by her neck, lifted her off the floor, pressed her up against the wall and strangled her until she was almost 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.

Once she dropped him off, the victim quickly drove to her brother’s house and contacted authorities. Responding officers took pictures of her injuries, and the victim gave a statement to the police. She 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.