After requesting an interpreter in Lincoln County Court Monday, suspected assailant Geovani Granados suddenly burst into English to proclaim his innocence.
Granados was charged Friday for third degree domestic assault and appeared Monday in front of Lincoln County Judge Kent Turnbull.
Granados allegedly had a dispute with his intimate partner, causing her injury. At 11 p.m. Friday, police officers responded to a report of trouble in the 900 block of N. Roosevelt Ave. The alleged victim alleged that she and Granados got into a heated argument, and Granados hit her in the face with his hand.
Granados, 38, appeared in court Monday on a video screen from the jail and he requested an interpreter.
The bailiff called an interpreter on the telephone and tried to connect the interpreter into the court-jail video system. But as listeners strained to hear, the call was suddenly dropped.
The bailiff dialed the interpreter again and put the call on speaker. Turnbull asked the interpreter to speak up so the defendants could hear.
Once re-connected the system worked, but after Turnbull read the charges, Granados broke into understandable English, denying the charge and blaming the alleged victim. Noting this, Turnbull asked him if he would need an interpreter at his next hearing. Granados said yes, that his Spanish is better than his English.
Granados withheld his plea until an attorney could be assigned. Bond was set at $5,000.
At the jail Granados, originally from El Salvador, confessed to being in the possession of a fraudulent identification card and said his work visa had expired, so he also faces federal immigration charges, a police spokesman said.
In other court action Monday, Erik Margarito Luna also requested an interpreter. Luna was charged with minor in possession of alcohol, possession of less than an ounce of marijuana and disturbing the peace.
Luna, now 21 years old, was not that old Saturday when he was arrested.
According to the charges, North Platte Police were called to a disturbance and when they asked Luna if he had been drinking, he admitted he had.
In court, Luna waived his right to an attorney and entered a plea of no contest. He was found guilty, sentenced to time served and costs.
Like Granados, Luna was not released while officials look into his immigration status.