Man sentenced in Cedar City for assault on pregnant girlfriend days before Christmas

Composite image. Background photo by Stelsone/iSTock/Getty Images Plus. Booking photo of Jose Hernandez, 22, of Cedar City, taken in Iron County, Utah, Dec. 20, 2019 | Booking photo courtesy of the Iron County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News / Cedar City News

ST. GEORGE — A Cedar City man accused of assaulting his pregnant girlfriend and threatening officers with a knife days before Christmas was sentenced Monday morning in 5th District Court in Cedar City.

Jose Hernandez, 22, of Cedar City, booking photo taken in Iron County, Utah, Dec. 20, 2019 | File photo courtesy of the Iron County Sheriff’s Office, Cedar City News, St. George News

During a resolution hearing before District Judge Matthew L. Bell, 22-year-old Jose Hernandez pleaded guilty to two third-degree felony charges, including aggravated assault and commission of domestic violence in the presence of a child.

As part of the settlement agreement, Iron County Prosecutor Shane Klenk agreed to allow Hernandez to enter into a plea in abeyance on the two felony charges, dismissing five misdemeanor charges that included assault, assault on a pregnant person and three counts of commission of domestic violence in the presence of a child.

The charges stem from an incident reported during the early morning hours of Dec. 22 when officers were dispatched to a domestic disturbance involving the suspect, later identified as Hernandez, who had allegedly assaulted his girlfriend during an altercation that started when the girlfriend accused the suspect of sleeping with someone else.

While en route to the call, officers were advised the suspect had a knife, which Hernandez was still holding when officers found him standing in the doorway of the residence. Officers repeatedly ordered Hernandez to drop the knife, which he did after the officer deployed the taser, which caused the suspect to drop to the ground and release the weapon. He was then transported to the Iron County Jail, where he has remained ever since.

In exchange for a guilty plea, the prosecutor will move to dismiss the two felony charges if Hernandez successfully completes the terms of the plea in abeyance, which includes completing 100 hours of community service, obtain a written evaluation for alcohol/drug abuse and complete all recommended treatment, submit to warrantless searches, provide a DNA sample and not commit any new crimes for 24 months.

He was also ordered to serve 24 days in jail with credit for time served, which satisfied the jail term, and he was released from custody following the hearing Monday.

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