A Columbus man who last year threatened his neighbors with a large knife was sentenced to a term of probation recently by Judge Robert Steinke in Platte County District Court.

Hugo R. Cisneros, 37, pleaded no contest and was found guilty of two counts of making terroristic threats, Class IIIA felonies. He was sentenced by Steinke to spend the next 18 months on intensive supervised probation for both offenses, which are set to run concurrently.

Two additional charges of using a deadly weapon to commit a felony, Class II felonies, were dropped/dismissed, court records show.

At 1:03 a.m. Dec. 17, Columbus Police Officer Brian Hunke was dispatched to an apartment complex located in the 1100 block of Fifth Street in regard to a woman stating that a male was chasing her around the apartment building with a large knife, according to a warrantless arrest affidavit.

Upon arrival, Hunke made contact with the woman and another party. The woman reported that she went to do some laundry and that a man who lives in the downstairs area came around the corner with a large knife.

Cisneros then started saying “What’s up” while holding a knife in the air. The second witness reportedly stepped out in the hallway after hearing the commotion which led to the defendant continuing to say “what’s up” among other expletives. He noted that the defendant was standing in front of them outside the door to their apartment.

Both reporting parties said that Cisneros lifted the knife above his head and made stabbing gestures, which led them to shut the door and contact law enforcement.

According to court records, the duo said that they have had problems with the defendant in the past. They also reportedly showed Hunke gouge marks made in their door – appearing to be made with a sharp object – which they suspected the defendant made. Both witnesses reportedly said they feared for their lives.

Contact was subsequently made with Cisneros who denied being in the upstairs area of the apartment and said he didn’t know the people who talked to police. Speaking with Cisneros, court records show the officer noticed a large knife sheath sitting on Cisneros’ kitchen counter and subsequently located a large Bowie knife with a curved blade under some clothes in an open suitcase on a bedroom floor.

After being placed under arrest, the two victims identified the defendant as being the man who threatened them with the blade.

In other district court news:

*Chasin P. Renteria, 35, of Columbus, was sentenced to an indeterminate sentence of not less than 42 months in prison, nor more than six years. The defendant was found guilty of distributing methamphetamine, a Class II felony. Under state law, the defendant could have faced up to 50 years in prison. He was also sentenced to 90 days in jail for committing unlawful acts relating to drugs. All sentences are set to run concurrently.

*Jeremy J. Kozak, 38, of Columbus, was sentenced to 18 months of probation in two separate cases for violating a protection order, a Class I misdemeanor. Two felony stalking charges – encompassing two case files – were dropped/dismissed.

*Miguel Pedraza-Leon, 26, of Columbus, had his sentencing continued until 10 a.m. on June 19. The defendant pleaded no contest and was found guilty being in possession of a controlled substance, a Class IV felony. Pedraza-Leon faces a maximum sentence of two years in prison and 12 months of post-release supervision.

Sam Pimper is the news editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at sam.pimper@lee.net.

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