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Archive for Friday, May 24, 2002

DeSoto resident gets 14 years for assault

May 24, 2002

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— A DeSoto man has been sentenced to 14 years in prison for assaulting a woman who allegedly was killed for reporting the crime.

Johnson County District Judge Steve Tatum on Wednesday gave Juan Crutchfield the maximum sentence for knocking Melanie S. Oliver unconscious and shattering bones in her face on Aug. 18, 2001.

Crutchfield, also known as Juan Guardado, is scheduled to go on trial June 3 in the September killing of Oliver.

Crutchfield said at his trial in February that he hit Oliver in self-defense. But prosecutors had argued that Crutchfield was angry at his wife and Oliver because they wouldn't post bond for him and had used his car without permission, prosecutors argued at trial.

Crutchfield and his brother, Jesse Guardado, have been charged with first-degree murder in Oliver's death. A third defendant, Alfredo Arambula, has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and agreed to testify at trial.

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