Grand Forks Woman Accused of Strangling Mother with Purse Strap Pleads Not Guilty

Brianna Lynn Thomas
Brianna Lynn Thomas

GRAND FORKS, ND ( – A Grand Forks woman accused of attempting to murder her mother waived her preliminary hearing on Monday, May 13, and pleaded not guilty to two felony charges.

Brianna Lynn Thomas, 20, faces up to 20 years in prison for Class A felony attempted murder and is also charged with Class C felony domestic violence causing serious bodily injury.

Thomas was arrested on March 31 after law enforcement responded to a reported domestic dispute, according to an affidavit filed in the case.

The affidavit alleges that Thomas threw a drink at her mother, soaking both of their clothes. She then climbed into the rear seat of their vehicle to look for a change of clothing. The mother reported feeling what she believed was a phone charging cord around her neck, pulled tight in an attempt to strangle her.

The mother told police she was unable to remove the cord, couldn’t breathe, and her body was twitching when the cord broke. Police observed a thin red mark on the mother’s neck, consistent with strangulation. In the back of the vehicle, officers found a purse with a broken shoulder strap, matching the mother’s injury.

Thomas is scheduled for a bond review hearing at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, May 17. She is currently being held on a $20,000 cash or surety bond.

Her final dispositional conference is set for 1:30 p.m. on August 8.

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