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Carthage man takes plea offer in domestic assault case

Joplin Globe - 11/4/2023

Nov. 3—A 23-year-old Carthage man pleaded guilty this week to a felony domestic assault charge in a deal capping the prison time he might be assessed at four years.

Jason D. Molena Bautista pleaded guilty to second-degree domestic assault in Jasper County Circuit Court. Judge Gayle Crane delayed formal acceptance or rejection of the plea bargain, ordering a sentencing assessment of Bautista and setting his sentencing hearing on Jan. 8.

The defendant's girlfriend, Nidia Jimenez-Martinez testified at a preliminary hearing in July that she was getting ready for work on Feb. 7 when she confronted him about an issue in their relationship and he reacted by hitting, kicking and choking her.

She testified that she managed to get away from him and go to work, but he later showed up at her parents' home and threatened her father with a pistol. The father called police, and Bautista was arrested.

Jeff Lehr is a reporter for The Joplin Globe.

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