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Ex-Las Vegas police officer sentenced to 1 year in prison for choking, whipping stepson

By Ana Gutierrez,


LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — An ex-Las Vegas Metropolitan police officer will spend one year behind bars for choking and beating his stepson in 2020, a judge ruled Tuesday.

John Woodruff, 32, was sentenced on two counts of child abuse, neglect or endangerment. He received a suspended sentence of 28 to 72 months behind bars and will serve nine months in the Clark County Detention Center for the first count.

He will serve 364 days in the detention center for the second count, which will run at the same time as his sentence for the first count.

Woodruff will also be placed on probation for no more than 3 years following his sentence.

Woodruff whipped his stepson and choked the child between April and May 2020 and forced the boy to wear girl’s clothes to school.

Former Las Vegas police officer pleads guilty to choking, beating stepson

Detectives observed what they described as recent bruising on the child’s lower back, butt, leg, and neck, according to an arrest report.

The child told police that Woodruff smacked him with a belt before grabbing him by the neck and lifting him off the ground. The boy said that he couldn’t breathe and soiled himself, according to the report.

Woodruff initially faced three counts of child abuse, one count of conspiracy to commit child abuse, and one count of domestic battery by strangulation at the time of the incident. He pleaded guilty in October 2022 to lesser charges of one count of felony child abuse, neglect or endangerment and one count of misdemeanor child abuse, neglect or endangerment.

Following his guilty plea, he had been facing a sentence of one to six years in prison and a fine of up to $2,000, according to court documents.

Woodruff was employed by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department from 2016 up to the time of the incident.

Judge Joe Hardy was assigned to Woodruff’s sentencing.

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