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Local veteran receives probation for strangulation and assault conviction

Laramie County Governmental Complex is inlaid with a photo of Paul Lopez. (Laramie County Sheriff's Office)

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — In a sentencing decision that underscored the complexities of aggravated assault cases, Paul Lopez was sentenced to three to eight years suspended for four years probation for strangulation and aggravated assault, alongside a consecutive six-month jail sentence for interfering with a 911 call.

He was sentenced by Judge Thomas Campbell in Laramie County District Court on Monday, Feb. 5.

Lopez’s lawyer emphasized letters from Lopez’s friends and family highlighting his character, referencing his honorable discharge from the National Guard and consistent employment history. His lawyer argued for probation, citing financial obligations to the victim and recommendations from a pre-sentence investigation.

Victim impact statements delivered at the sentencing portrayed a family living in fear, finding solace only during Lopez’s incarceration. Accounts were given of Lopez violating protection orders and driving his car into the side of the victim’s house. The victim, among others, recounted the enduring physical, emotional and mental scars from an assault that left her with a traumatic brain injury and unable to keep up at work.

The family’s plea for stringent penalties underscored their ongoing struggle for peace and recovery more than eight months after the incident.

Campbell ultimately decided on an extended probation period and a six-month jail sentence for the interference charge, crediting 25 days for time served.

The affidavit of probable cause by Officer Rodgers detailed the events of May 19, 2023, when police were called to a physical disturbance. The victim, found injured on the ground, reported being attacked by Lopez after a threatening encounter. Witnesses corroborated her account, according to the report, detailing Lopez’s violent actions, including smashing the victim’s phone to prevent her from calling for help.

Lopez’s account and resistance during arrest added layers to the already complex case, with police documentation of the victim’s injuries aligning with her experience. Lopez ultimately pleaded guilty in a plea agreement.