WILLMAR — A Willmar man was sentenced to six years in prison for a brutal attack in 2020 that left his girlfriend with life-threatening injuries.
In a sentence handed down Thursday in Kandiyohi County District Court, Sean Nicholas Vaughn, 31, was sentenced to 74 months in prison after pleading guilty to a felony charge of first-degree assault — great bodily harm.
Three other felony charges of third-degree assault, domestic assault and domestic assault by strangulation were dismissed.
Vaughn was given credit for 398 days already served.
According to court records, the Willmar Police Department was notified May 26, 2020, of a possible domestic assault. The secondhand information from an anonymous caller said they had received photos from the victim, showing the woman’s swollen and bloody face.
When officers went to the woman's house, no one answered the door and her car was gone.
Officers went to Vaughn’s house in the 600 block of Ninth Street Southeast. While talking with Vaughn, officers saw blood on his cheek and hands.
When an officer asked about Vaughn’s pant legs being muddy, Vaughn responded that it was likely blood because he “scratches a lot,” according to the police report.
Vaughn told police the woman had been at his house earlier, when they had a small argument, but she wasn’t there now and he had been trying to locate her. He told police he had seen the photos of his girlfriend’s injured face that had been sent to him by a mutual friend.
After a search of the home revealed blood, officers decided to detain Vaughn until the woman was found. A few minutes later officers were informed the woman was at Carris Health — Rice Memorial Hospital for injuries that included possible strangulation, fractures and brain bleed.
Vaughn was then arrested.
According to the court records, when police interviewed the woman at the hospital, they saw that her eyes were swollen shut, there was a large gash above her eye and bruises around her neck and chin. Because of the pain medications, the woman fell asleep during the interview and a nurse was needed to wake her.
The report indicates the woman told police she had been at Vaughn’s house when they began arguing. While the woman was attempting to pack her things to leave, she said Vaughn held her down on the bed and repeatedly punched her with closed fists, attempted to choke her and held her up against a wall. She told police she had screamed for help.
The interview with police ended when medical personnel said the woman needed to be transported to the St. Cloud CentraCare Hospital because she had suffered life-threatening injuries of a brain bleed and fractures.
According to the report, Vaughn had two prior convictions in 2018 for violating a domestic-abuse-no-contact order.