Agent with history of abuse arrested in hotel choking incident

Shawn McCourt, 51, was arrested on suspicion of punching and choking his girlfriend in a hotel room

A New Mexico real estate agent has been arrested on suspicion of punching and choking his girlfriend in a hotel room Saturday night.

Shawn McCourt, 51, was charged with aggravated battery, battery against a household member and false imprisonment, according to court and arrest records first viewed by local media.

A woman, who had been in a romantic relationship with McCourt but whose name has not been released, told police that the two of them were staying in a Santa Fe hotel room when she left to buy alcohol. After she returned to the room twenty minutes later, McCourt allegedly yelled at her, grabbed her face, threw small bottles of alcohol at her, choked her and put his hand over her mouth to stop her from screaming.

According to police reports, she said “help, he’s holding me hostage” when hotel staff called the room to check in on them before McCourt grabbed the phone to call the woman psychotic.

Shawn McCourt

The hotel’s front desk staff later told the police they saw the woman running out of the lobby with scratches and a broken nose.

Police later found McCourt wandering close to the hotel and arrested him. By Sunday, he had been released from the Santa Fe County Jail on an unsecured $5,000 bond.

According to his professional website, McCourt grew up in southeastern Utah and had been working in real estate since 1991. He currently owns McCourt Real Estate in Colorado and is designated broker of McCourt Properties in New Mexico.

McCourt has been charged with battery twice before in 2018 and late 2017, each time based on reports from different women. In the 2017 case, a restaurant employee had called 911 to say he saw a woman arrive “naked, stating her boyfriend had beat her.”

Both cases, however, were dismissed — one because a key witness was not available for trial and the other due to a lack of prosecution after the alleged victim recanted her story.

While McCourt did not get back to Inman’s requests for comment, he has told police that he was actually the one attacked by the woman in the hotel room. He also said that news coverage of the 2017 charges had made him the victim of various false accusers and stalkers.

“That’s not what happened at all,” McCourt told The New Mexican about the police reports. “It wasn’t true at all.”

Email Veronika Bondarenko