Columbus man sentenced to probation for assault conviction

March 10, 2019

A 20-year-old Columbus man earlier this week convicted of domestic assault was sentenced by Judge Robert Steinke in Platte County District Court.

Omar Lopez-Pena previously pleaded no contest and was found guilty of third-degree domestic assault, a Class I misdemeanor. Under state law, the defendant could have faced up to a year in prison and a $1,000 fine. Lopez-Pena will now serve one year of intensive supervised probation.

Court records show that additional charges of strangulation and making terroristic threats, both Class IIIA felonies, were previously dropped. If he would have been convicted on those offenses, the defendant could have faced a maximum of three years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

In May 2018, an officer with the Columbus Police Department was dispatched to Columbus Community Hospital in regard to a person in the emergency room that needed to be evaluated for emergency protective custody, according to a warrantless arrest affidavit.

Hospital staff advised the officer that the defendant came into the hospital with a cut to his hand and forearm. While speaking with staff, the defendant reportedly made suicidal statements. Speaking through an interpreter, the defendant reportedly told the officer that he cut himself with the intent to kill himself.

After advising Lopez-Pena that he was being put into emergency protective custody, the officer spoke with a party close to the defendant, who advised that an argument had taken place between them earlier in the night and that he held up a knife and threatened to kill her. The blade, according to court records, was pointed at the woman.

The victim earlier in the evening, the officer learned, had called the police station and stated that someone was trying to kill her in her apartment. Police attempted to respond, court records show, but were given the wrong address.

The victim said that the defendant took the phone during that call and smashed the phone in half and then grabbed her by the throat three times in the minutes following, restricting her breathing.

Marks were visible on the victim’s neck, court records show, and she told police that she had been assaulted previously but that she’d never reported it.