Man Accused Of Aggravated Assault Headed For Trial
A Casper man accused of hitting another man with a hammer during a confrontation over a girlfriend will go to trial in state district court, a judge ruled Tuesday.
John Kosmata, 45, was bound over to state district court for trial on one count of aggravated assault, Natrona County Circuit Court Judge Michael Patchen said at the end of the defendant's preliminary hearing.
A preliminary hearing is held for prosecutors to present evidence showing probable cause that a crime was committed and the accused committed it. If a judge agrees, the case is bound over for trial.
The case began about 10 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 30, when officers were called to a residence in the 900 block of West 10th Street for a report of a fight, according to court documents and police testimony.
They found Kosmata and the victim, Juan Sauceda Jr., covered in blood. Sauceda was taken to the Wyoming Medical Center for treatment.
During the preliminary hearing, Assistant District Attorney Mike Schafer and Public Defender Kurt Infanger questioned the officers and the owner of the residence.
The officers said they talked with two women who were at the residence. They gave consistent testimony that, based on their interviews, Peggy Street was Kosmata's boyfriend and they were socializing with the home's owner Whitney Katzenberger in the bedroom.
Katzenberger's boyfriend, Sauceda, came to the house and began knocking on windows and the front door, the officers said.
She didn't want to see him, and Kosmata opened the front door. The two men began arguing and Kosmata pushed Sauceda outside while Katzenberger wanted them to stop, the officers said.
Street went outside and saw the fighting. Katzenberger told Street to call the police, she and the officers said during their testimony.
During his cross-examination of Katzenberger, Infanger asked of Street's and Kosmata's visit was more than that. Katzenberger said the socializing included a romantic interaction with Kosmota at the house.
Although Kosmata and Sauceda had never met, Katzenberger said both men had dim opinions of each other based on what she told them.
During the fight, Kosmata was on top of Sauceda and hit him hard with his fists about a dozen times, Katzenberger said. She persuaded them to stop fighting and Sauceda went to her car.
Meanwhile, Kosmata went to his SUV, retrieved a claw hammer, came back to Sauceda and hit him once in the head and neck area, Katzenberger said. Sauceda collapsed and Kosmata hit him one more time with his fist before police arrived, she said.
Meanwhile, Street saw a hammer outside and took in into the house.
Kosmata was not questioned during the preliminary hearing.
He is free on bond.