Tarrant County’s 10 Most Wanted Criminals, July 31
A Springtown man was sentenced to 70 years in prison on Wednesday for using a heated belt buckle to brand his girlfriend in December 2018.
During the assault, David Shawn Minze, 39, used a lighter to heat up his western-style belt buckle, bearing a large letter “S,” and branded her on her upper buttocks.
“The branding was his way to show her that he was the dominant person in this relationship and express ownership of her, like you would with cattle,” said Parker County Assistant District Attorney Abby Placke in a Thursday news release. Parker County Assistant District Attorney Susan Pruett was the other prosecutor in the case.
A Parker County jury convicted Minze on Wednesday on a charge of felony assault after deliberating just over two hours. Jurors then took 45 minutes to sentence him to 70 years.
Minze had six prior felony convictions.
Minze was arrested by Springtown police in January on a warrant for the Dec. 23 assault on his girlfriend. He also had a second warrant for violating his parole.
During the trial, the woman testified that Minze had choked her and used scissors to cut up her clothing into multiple pieces during the assault.
She testified her relationship with Minze was off and on with frequent breakups because of his physical abuse and methamphetamine use.
At the time of December assault, the woman testified they were not together.
Minze will be eligible for parole after serving 15 years.
Minze’s attorneys told District Judge Craig Towson that Minze intended to appeal his conviction and sentence.