Guatemalan national pleads guilty in stabbing of juvenile

Mar. 25—An 18-year-old Guatemalan residing near Carthage pleaded guilty Monday to a reduced charge in the stabbing of a juvenile and was sentenced to time already served.

Douglas A. Lopez-Velasquez pleaded guilty to third-degree assault in a plea deal calling for a sentence of eight months with credit for having already served that much time in jail. He had been facing a charge of first-degree assault in the case.

Circuit Judge David Mouton assessed Lopez-Velasquez the agreed-upon length of sentence with credit for the jail time and ordered the defendant turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which had placed a hold on him for possible deportation.

The conviction pertains to an arrest in the early morning hours of July 23 when Lopez-Velasquez had been drinking and pushed a male juvenile, who was hanging out with the defendant and his friends at a residence, and then allegedly tried to stab the juvenile. A probable-cause affidavit states that the juvenile was able to block the thrust of the knife with his hand, but the blade left a cut on his hand that required eight stitches.