After a trial last week in Durango federal court, David Sidney Wells, 43, of Towaoc, was found guilty of federal sexual and physical assault charges, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.
Wells was indicted by a federal grand jury on four counts — aggravated sexual abuse, assault with the intent to commit aggravated sexual abuse, assault resulting in serious bodily injury, and assault with a dangerous weapon.
According to court documents, as well as facts presented during trial, on March 9 Wells assaulted his wife of ten years in their residence on the Ute Mountain Ute Indian Reservation, in Towaoc. Wells repeatedly struck his wife in the head with a wooden club, kicked her in the stomach to induce a miscarriage, and punched her in the face. Wells then sexually assaulted her before strangling her to unconsciousness.
The victim’s injuries were so severe she was medically evacuated by airplane to a hospital in Lakewood.
After the assault, Wells fled the scene, according to court documents. At the time of the assault, Wells had a warrant for his arrest from a case brought by the state of Colorado for assault in the second degree by strangulation, as an act of domestic violence, related to an assault against his wife from August 2018. Additionally, Wells had a prior history of domestic violence convictions in Tribal Court.
Wells appeared at trial in custody and was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service at the trial’s conclusion.
Wells was indicted on April 5, 2019. He was founded guilty on Feb. 7 after a jury trial before U.S. District Court Judge Blackburn. Wells is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Blackburn on June 7 in Durango. Wells faces up to life in prison.
“Sexual assault on the Ute Mountain Ute Reservation will always be vigorously prosecuted by this office,” said U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn. “Wells was responsible for a brutal and violent assault against this victim. He is now facing a significant prison sentence.”
This case was investigated by the FBI and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The Wells was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeff Graves and R. Josh Player.