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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Judge urges domestic violence victims to seek help

“If you pick up a phone and call for help, this court will take the crime of domestic violence seriously.”

Superior Court associate judge Joseph N. Camacho made the pronouncement after imposing the maximum sentence of one year in prison against Albert P. Deleon
Guerrero, a repeat offender who beat up his girlfriend.

Camacho underscored the importance of slapping Deleon Guerrero with the maximum sentence so that he and all others who commit domestic violence are deterred from interfering and preventing victims from calling for help.

Deleon Guerrero will start serving his sentence on Jan. 24, 2013. He was given credit for the three days he served in jail. His sentence will be served without the possibility of parole and work or weekend release

After finishing his sentence, he will be placed on probation for two years. He was also required to pay a $200 fine and $25 court costs, 50 hours of community service, and restitution to the victim for medical expenses.

Deleon Guerrero appeared in court on Thursday and pleaded guilty to assault and battery.

Assistant attorney general Chemere McField recommended six months in prison. Assistant public defender Matthew Meyer, counsel for the defendant, also recommended six months.

Pursuant to the affidavit of probable cause, Deleon Guerrero became angry with his girlfriend on July 16, 2012, triggering the assault that included slapping her in the face, grabbing her hair, and punching her—all while inside their vehicle. She called 911 but he grabbed the phone and threw it down.

A police car just happened to be driving by and came to her rescue.

Camacho said that Deleon Guerrero is no stranger to crimes as he has five criminal cases that include assault and battery and trafficking of a controlled substance. The defendant also has 10 traffic cases and two temporary restraining orders in family court, he said.

Camacho said the Domestic Violence Criminal Act was passed in 2004.

“That was nine years ago. Once again, this court rises to the call of the Legislature to address domestic violence as a serious problem,” the judge said.

Camacho is known for rejecting lenient plea bargains and for imposing full maximum sentences.

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