Defendant pleads down to misdemeanor in Aurora assault case

Feb. 27—MOUNT VERNON, Mo. — A 35-year-old man from Aurora pleaded down to a misdemeanor last week in a felony assault case and was sentenced to some jail time.

Omar A. Cruz pleaded guilty Thursday in Lawrence County Circuit Court to a reduced charge of fourth-degree assault in a plea deal dismissing two related counts of felony assault.

Judge Matthew Kasper accepted the plea arrangement and assessed Cruz 24 days of shock time in jail with credit for time already served.

The conviction pertains to an incident Jan. 29 at the defendant's residence on West South Street in Aurora during which he allegedly tried several times to hit another male with a hammer and struck a female in the knee with the hammer in the process, according to a probable-cause affidavit. In an ensuing argument, Cruz purportedly choked his girlfriend, according to the affidavit.