Cass County Courthouse

PLATTSMOUTH – A Plattsmouth man who struck a woman in the face before committing a drunk-driving offense entered pleas to two charges Monday morning.

Lucas A. Kaffenberger, 32, appeared in Cass County District Court for a plea hearing. He pled no contest to a Class I misdemeanor of third-degree domestic assault and a Class W misdemeanor of driving under the influence of alcohol-first offense.

Kaffenberger had originally been charged with a Class IIIA felony of third-degree domestic assault-prior offense. The state agreed to reduce its charge in exchange for Kaffenberger’s plea. The plea bargain made the charge a first-offense domestic assault instead of a second offense.

Deputy County Attorney Richard Fedde told the court Kaffenberger and a female victim were riding in a Chevrolet Silverado on 12th Avenue in Plattsmouth on May 10. A witness was outside her home gardening when she saw the truck stop on the road. The female victim got out of the truck and began walking to the rear of the vehicle.

Fedde said the witness would have testified that Kaffenberger and the female were arguing with each other. The witness then saw Kaffenberger punch the victim in the face. Fedde said the homeowner would have testified that the punch was hard enough to cause the woman to fall into a ditch along the side of the road.

The witness called authorities after both people got back into the truck and drove away. Authorities stopped the truck a short time later and noticed Kaffenberger’s eyes were watery. He also had slurred speech and exhibited other signs of being intoxicated.

Fedde said a Cass County Sheriff’s Office deputy noticed swelling on the victim’s face and blood on Kaffenberger’s hands. Kaffenberger was arrested after he failed a field sobriety test. A chemical test conducted at Cass County Jail revealed a blood-alcohol content level of .108.

Kaffenberger remains free on bond. A sentencing hearing will take place Jan. 6.

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