FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A North Dakota man whose case has been the subject of appeals for tougher laws against domestic violence on American Indian reservations has pleaded guilty in federal court.
Roman Cavanaugh Jr., of Fort Totten, is charged with domestic assault by a habitual offender. It stems from a 2008 conviction for assault. Authorities say Cavanaugh slammed the head of his common-law wife against the dashboard of his car and threatened to kill her
The 36-year-old Cavanaugh was previously convicted on three separate domestic violence charges in Spirit Lake Tribal Court.
A judge in 2009 threw out the habitual offender charge because Cavanaugh did not have legal representation in tribal court. The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the decision in July 2011.
Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 17 in Fargo.