Machete incident in Steubenville brings guilty plea

GUILTY PLEA — Guillermo Hernandez, 39, of 484 S. Fifth St., left, stands with Horacio Gonzalez, a Spanish interpreter from Steubenville, during Hernandez’s guilty plea and sentencing on Wednesday in Jefferson County Common Pleas Court. Hernandez pleaded guilty to attempted felonious assault involving his girlfriend and a machete. Judge Joseph Bruzzese Jr. told Hernandez he will be taken to Columbus for a deportation hearing in federal court. - Mark Law

STEUBENVILLE — Guillermo Hernandez, 39, of 484 S. Fifth St. pleaded guilty Wednesday before Jefferson County Common Pleas Judge Joseph Bruzzese Jr. to attempting to cause harm to his girlfriend with a machete on March 30 and now faces a deportation hearing in federal court in Columbus.

Defense attorney Kristopher Haught said Hernandez has been in the country for numerous years, including 11 years in Steubenville.

Hernandez pleaded guilty to attempted felonious assault.

Assistant Prosecutor Stephen Lamatrice said witnesses heard a woman screaming at Hernandez’s house and called City Police on March 30. An officer looked through a house window and saw Hernandez on top of his girlfriend holding a machete, Lamatrice said.

He said the officer pulled out his service weapon and ordered Herndanez to stop, before Hernandez opened the door for police. Lamatrice said officers found another machete in the house.

Lamatrice said the woman and children in the home were interviewed and it was learned that Hernandez had come home intoxicated and got into an argument with his girlfriend.

Hernandez was appointed a Spanish interpreter, Horacio Gonzalez of Steubenville, who has undergone training through the Ohio Supreme Court to be an interpreter in court.

Hernandez told Bruzzese through his interpreter that he didn’t want to do anything “on purpose,” and he just wanted to “scare her.”

Bruzzese told Hernandez he faces deportation and exclusion from ever re-entering the United States and could be denied any request for naturalization.

If Hernandez does come back to Jefferson County, he will be on probation for two years. He faces three years in prison if he violates probation.

Also Wednesday, Vernon Jones, 25, of Columbus was sentenced by Bruzzese to a mandatory five years in prison after Jones pleaded guilty to charges of possession of heroin and trafficking in heroin.

Jones was one of three people arrested by the county drug task force at a city hotel on Feb. 28 in possession of drugs.

Randall D. Wade, 51, of 730 N. Seventh St. was sentenced by Bruzzese to 18 months in prison after Wade pleaded guilty to his second felony charge of operating a vehicle under the influence.

Wade was arrested on Feb. 25 in the city driving with a blood-alcohol level nearly three times the legal limit.

Bruzzese also issued a $1,350 fine and suspended Wade’s driver’s license for 10 years.

The judge also ordered Wade to undergo mandatory alcohol-abuse counseling.

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