A Claremore man who assaulted his girlfriend as she tried to escape from him at a Foyil gas station was sentenced Wednesday in federal court, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson.
U.S. District Judge Gregory K. Frizzell sentenced William Frank Vanover, 47, to 70 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.
“William Vanover was a habitual criminal with more than 18 prior convictions, including a history of domestic violence. Because of his actions, he will spend almost six years in prison for the harm he caused this victim,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson. “Federal prosecutors and victim specialists strive to provide domestic violence survivors a voice. When survivors are empowered, they are better able to aid in the prosecution of their abuser and seek assistance to heal from the trauma they’ve endured.”
Vanover pleaded guilty Aug. 10, 2021, to assault with a dangerous weapon with intent to do bodily harm in Indian Country.
On Dec. 30, 2020, at a Claremore motel, the victim tried to end a relationship with Vanover, who became enraged, held a knife to the victim, threatened her, and demanded she drive him to Chelsea. When stopping for gas at Foyil, the victim tried to escape. Vanover caught the victim and punched her in the face. She was eventually able to get away and run into the gas station where police were called.
At sentencing, the defense requested Vanover receive 63 months in federal prison. In her sentencing memorandum and in court, Assistant U.S. Attorney Julie Childress argued that Vanover should receive a sentence at the highest end of the sentencing guidelines for the crime, 78 months in federal prison. Assistant U.S. Attorney Childress pointed to Vanover’s more than 18 previous convictions to include three for domestic violence. Childress argued that the sentence would protect the public and the victim but also provide Vanover with an opportunity to receive extensive mental health, drug, and domestic violence treatment while in a Federal Bureau of Prisons facility.
The victim is a Cherokee Nation citizen, and the crime occurred within the boundaries of the Cherokee Nation Reservation.
The FBI and Tulsa Police Department conducted the investigation.
Department of Justice
Office of the U.S. Attorney
Northern District of Oklahoma