Raul Tejeda, the San Luis man who was found guilty earlier this year of assaulting his girlfriend, was finally sentenced Wednesday morning in Yuma County Superior Court.
Superior Court Judge David Haws, when he imposed Tejeda's sentence, gave him 10-1/2 years in prison for aggravated assault, nine years three months for kidnapping and another 7-1/2 years for aggravated assault per domestic violence.
Judge Haws also sentenced Tejeda to one year and nine months in criminal trespass, two years and four months for unlawful flight from pursuing law enforcement and four months for criminal damage. He was also given 352 days credit for time served on each of the sentences.
The sentences are to be served concurrently, meaning at the same time, and Tejeda must also pay more than $2,500 in restitution.
Tejeda was found guilty of the charges following a three-day trial that ended Feb. 1, but his attorney at the time, Richard Parks, of the Yuma County Public Defenders Office, filed a motion with the court seeking a new trial on the basis that two bilingual jurors re-translated testimony that was given in Spanish to other jurors during deliberations of his client's trial.
Parks, who later withdrew from the case so he could be called as a witness during the hearing and provide testimony, contended in his motion that not using the court’s official translation violated the legal premise that each juror make his or her own decision based on the same set of facts. Attorney Julie McDonald was then assigned to represent Tejeda.
Judge Haws denied the motion for a new trial during Wednesday's sentencing.
According to the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office, in July 2018 deputies responded to a report of an assault in the 400 block of South May Avenue.
Once on scene deputies learned that the suspect, now identified as Tejeda, had allegedly forced his way into the victim’s residence, threatening to kill her and assaulting her multiple times. The victim was able to escape after five hours and call law enforcement.
Tejeda was attempting to flee the area in his vehicle as deputies arrived on scene. Tejeda purposely collided with the driver-side door of a marked YCSO patrol truck to get away.
Three days later, Yuma police received a tip that Tejeda had been spotted at the Del Sol Market, located at 280 S. 4th Ave.
Yuma police responded and contacted YCSO about the sighting. A perimeter was set up around the store. Tejeda was found hiding in an employee bathroom and taken into custody without incident.