Two sentenced in Nobles County after entering pleas in domestic assault, assault cases

Espinoza was convicted of misdemeanor domestic assault. LeClaire was convicted of assault with a dangerous weapon.

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WORTHINGTON — Two individuals were recently sentenced in Nobles County Fifth District Court, in cases previously reported on by The Globe.

Maria LeClaire, 32, of Worthington was convicted of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon after pleading guilty to charges from a February incident. LeClaire faced several charges, including property damage, theft, child endangerment and domestic assault, after purposefully rear-ending her boyfriend’s vehicle . Those charges were dismissed with the plea deal.

LeClaire was sentenced to 39 months imprisonment but was granted a stay of execution to serve five years of supervised probation. This is a downward departure from sentencing guidelines, due to LeClaire having been found amenable to chemical dependency treatment, according to court documents.

LeClaire will also pay $1,085 in court fines.

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Also in Nobles County, Gabriel Lee Espinoza, 29, pled guilty to an amended misdemeanor count of domestic assault, having been originally charged with two felony counts of domestic assault. This is an enhanceable offense and any subsequent offenses involving the same conduct will be considered more serious and carry greater penalties.


Espinoza was sentenced to 90 days in jail, with 45 days credit for time already served. Additionally, he will be required to pay $585 in court fines.

The Southwest Crisis Center is available in our community to support and empower survivors of sexual and domestic violence. For questions about services or how you can help, contact the Southwest Crisis Center at 1-800-376-4311 or .

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Emma McNamee joined The Globe team in October 2021 as a reporter covering Crime & Courts, Politics, and the City beats. Born and raised in Duluth, Minn., McNamee left her hometown to attend school in Chicago at Columbia College. She graduated in 2021 with a degree in Multimedia Journalism, with a concentration in News & Feature Writing and a minor in Creative Writing.
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