Court action

MADISON — A Norfolk man was sentenced to a prison term for assault by strangulation — second offense on Thursday in Madison County District Court.

Jacob Pedroza, 27, of Norfolk assaulted the victim on Jan. 1 outside of a car, according to court documents.

“This was a situation where police responded to a call on a domestic assault,” said James Kube, district court judge. “The victim stated that you had grabbed her by the hair and struck her in the face and choked her.”

Pedroza said he assaulted the victim because of his anger management problems and because he had been drinking at the time.

“I have anger issues. I just lost my cool and took it out on a person who didn’t deserve it. I just snapped and she just happened to be the person who was there,” he said. “I have no animosity toward her.”

The situation was made worse by the presence of a child, said Matthew Kiernan, deputy Madison County attorney.

“This was a pretty brutal assault. What makes this whole situation even worse was that a young child was in the car and probably witnessed this whole thing,” Kiernan said. “That’s probably going to impact that child going forward.”

Chelsey Hartner, Pedroza’s attorney, said Pedroza regrets his actions.

“He’s been very remorseful and he’s ashamed of what happened,” she said. “He would like the opportunity to make it right.”

Before sentencing, Pedroza said, “I truly am remorseful for what I did. I’m very sorry.”

Kube said Pedroza’s criminal history and the circumstances of the incident concerned him.

“I don’t like the fact that this is a second offense. This appears to me to be unprovoked. It looks to me like she was doing just about everything she could to get away from you,” Kube said. “This kind of thing scares me a little bit, to be honest with you.”

Kube sentenced Pedroza to 4 to 7 years in the Nebraska Department of Corrections with credit for 114 days served and court costs. He also ordered that anger management treatment be made available to him.

Kube sentenced others for the following offenses:

Driving under the influence

— Richard Horst, 47, 606 W. Grove Ave., 90 days in jail with credit for 8 days served, 36 months’ probation, $2,000 fine, costs.

Attempted delivery of methadone with intent to deliver

— Christopher Brown, 25, Pierce, 90 days in jail with credit for 17 days served. 36 months’ probation, costs.

Possession of methamphetamine

— Joseph Gutierrez, 24, Leigh, failure to appear, 60 days in jail with credit for 7 days served, 18 months’ probation, 90 days in jail with credit for 18 days served to be served before the end of probation unless waived.

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