Man gets 20-year prison sentence for aggravated assault

Feb. 7—A man who pled guilty to one count of aggravated assault last month failed to appear in court for sentencing in Whitfield Superior Court on Tuesday, Feb. 6 — and as a result, Conasauga Judicial Circuit Judge Scott Minter meted out the maximum penalty for the offense.

According to a bill of indictment, defendant Elias Bautista-Raymundo is accused of trying to stab the named victim in the case with a pocket knife on Aug. 23, 2023.

Representing the defendant at the hearing was public defender Latasha Heflin.

"Our office has contacted him as early as this morning," she told the court. "We have not been able to make contact with him."

Continuing, Heflin said the office has attempted to contact Bautista-Raymundo multiple times since he entered the guilty plea.

"He has not answered," she said.

Minter noted that the defendant appeared before the court on Jan. 24.

"At which time he entered a plea of guilty," he stated. "At that time, also, he entered a waiver of his right to withdraw his guilty plea and acknowledgement of effective failure to appear at sentencing."

Minter also said that Bautista-Raymundo was made aware of the Feb. 6 sentencing date.

"If he did not appear, the court would proceed with sentencing even though he was not physically present," he said. "The court also told Mr. Bautista-Raymundo that if he did not appear that the court would not abide by the plea agreement, but would rather sentence him to the maximum sentence provided by law."

Which, for the aggravated assault offense, is 20 years to serve in prison.

"And, of course, issue a bench warrant for his arrest," Minter added.