The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe owns and operates the Elwha River Casino in Port Angeles, Washington. Photo: ERC
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Lower Elwha Klallam citizen pleads guilty to domestic assault

Matthew Tyler Charles, a citizen of the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, has admitted assaulting his former partner at the Elwha River Casino in Washington.

Charles, 31, pleaded guilty to one count of domestic assault by a habitual offender, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Washington announced on Wednesday. His admission came after the start of his trial this week for the crime, The Peninsula Daily News reported.

Charles has four prior domestic violence convictions in tribal and Washington court, according to the indictment in his case. As a result, he was prosecuted as a "habitual offender" under a section in federal law that recognizes tribal convictions.


Charles was previously ordered to have "no contact" with the victim, an FBI agent said in a separately filed complaint. The incident at issue occurred on October 21, 2017.

Charles is due to be sentenced on June 15. He faces up to five years in prison, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the use of tribal convictions, even those obtained when the defendant was not provided with an attorney, in a case known as U.S. v. Bryant.

Read More on the Story:
Lower Elwha Klallam tribal member pleads guilty to assault (The Peninsula Daily News March 29, 2018)

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