WARSAW — A Warsaw man was sentenced in Kosciusko Superior 1 Court Thursday, Sept. 28, on charges of disorderly conduct and battery.
Jesus Orlando Menchaca, 26, 507 N. Park Ave., Warsaw, pleaded guilty to charges of count III disorderly conduct and count IV battery, both class B misdemeanors. The charges resulted from a fight that occurred in September 2015.
Court documents show that on Sept. 5, 2015, Warsaw police were called to the Time Out Inn, 1701 W Lake St, Warsaw. Police found Jose Guadalupe Ramos lying on his back in the parking lot, bleeding from his head. Ramos was taken to Kosciusko Community Hospital and then transferred to Lutheran Hospital with bleeding to his brain.
During the investigation, police learned that Ramos and three others, Christina Castillo, Jodi Phillips and Juan Flores, went to the business. While there, Menchaca arrived with Norma Lopez, Christian Menchaca and Dora Menchaca. Dora Menchaca and Lopez reportedly cornered Castillo in the bathroom, where a verbal altercation took place. All eight individuals were asked to leave.
Police were told that after the eight were kicked out, Jesus Menchaca and Christian Menchaca grabbed Ramos and drug him away from a vehicle, then began punching him. Phillips, who was engaged to Ramos at the time of the incident, stated she observed Jose Menchaca kick Ramos in the stomach and head two times. Several individuals from neighboring homes came over to help break up the fight.
Police were told that since the assault, Ramos cannot recall what day or year it is due to the brain injury. He underwent physical therapy to learn how to walk again.
One of the individuals who helped break up the fight told police he was in his backyard with friends and heard the commotion. He stated he observed two individuals fighting with an older man, Ramos. After he saw Ramos fall to the ground, one of the other individuals jumped in the air and stomped on Ramos’ head. This witness and his friends surrounded Ramos to stop the fight. The witness was shown photographs of five individuals, including the two suspects, and identified Jesus Menchaca as the one he saw stomp on the head of Ramos.
Phillips took the stand before the sentencing to give a victim impact statement.
“I don’t agree with the plea agreement and I ask that you don’t accept it,” she said to Judge David Cates.
Phillips was visibly emotional while giving her statement.
“I begged for an apology, but nobody wanted to apologize. They weren’t remorseful,” said Phillips. She informed the court that she and Ramos are no longer a couple.
“He’s a good person and a great father, but this has really taken a toll,” Phillips stated, “Since his head injury, everything changed. He has a lot of anger. I know (Menchaca) has a family, but nobody thought about me and my family when they beat him.”
Menchaca’s lawyer, Andrew Teel, informed the court that Menchaca is in the final stages of immigration proceedings, stating that this case is the only thing preventing him from becoming a United States citizen. Teel said that Menchaca has a wife, a child and another child on the way and stated the plea agreement would enable him to continue working so that he can be a productive citizen and support his family.
Cates apologized to Phillips and Ramos for “the horrific impact on your family” and advised that they may wish to speak with an attorney regarding a civil action, cautioning them that there are deadlines involved.
Cates addressed Menchaca, saying, “Your attorney’s argument about this impacting your immigration status did not sway me at all because if that was a concern to you, you would not have been involved in this.”
Judge Cates found Menchaca guilty of count III disorderly conduct and sentenced him to 180 days in custody of the Kosciusko County Jail. Menchaca was also sentenced to 180 days in the custody of the Kosciusko County Jail for the charge of count IV battery. Cates ordered the sentences to be served consecutively and ordered that the sentences be suspended and served on probation.
Cates ordered Menchaca to obtain and maintain employment, pay court fees, write a letter of apology to Phillips and Ramos, pay restitution to the victim in the amount of $8,328.15 and to have no contact with the victim. Menchaca was further instructed to go to the Bowen Center to receive an anger management assessment and successfully complete the program there.
Two other charges were dismissed pursuant to the plea agreement.