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Douglas Gerard, Minot, charged with felony domestic violence

Douglas Verne Rittgers Gerard, 37, Minot, is accused of striking a woman in the face during an argument on Wednesday and later of kneeling on her chest and covering her nose and mouth with his hand to stop her from screaming, according to a police affidavit. At one point when she was on the ground he allegedly struck her in the back of the head with his fist. She bit him on the hand to make him stop smothering her. When she didn’t stop screaming, the woman told police he covered her head with blankets. She told police Gerard called her vulgar names while he was doing this and said he was going to kill her. The woman told police that Gerard looked “psycho” and she was afraid he would kill her.

Gerard is charged in district court in Minot with Class C felony domestic violence causing serious bodily injury.

In a prior case, Gerard pleaded guilty to Class B felony robbery and Class C felony prohibited possession of a firearm by a felon and was sentenced in March 2016 to 10 years in prison, with five years suspended, and five years supervised probation. He was ordered to serve a minimum of four years because a weapon was involved in the robbery and to serve at least 85 percent of his sentence under state law. An online court listing shows that Gerard completed a treatment program by November 2019. His co-defendant, William Downey, 31, was later ordered to serve eight years for his role in the robbery. Prison records show Downey is still incarcerated.

Gerard and Downey, 31, had robbed a group of three people on July 29, 2015, at a Minot hotel. According to court records, Downey pointed a long gun at the group and Gerard ordered the two women in the group to tie themselves up with zip ties. The women didn’t cooperate and Gerard became angry and pumped his gun and a shell came out of the gun. Gerard said he would kill them, according to court documents. Gerard and Downey fled after one of the victims wrestled the gun away from Downey.

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