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Cass County Courthouse photo

PLATTSMOUTH – A Plattsmouth man who broke a woman’s collarbone during a physical argument this past winter will serve additional jail time for the assault.

Joshua H. Lybarger, 39, appeared in Cass County District Court for sentencing hearings in two cases. He pled guilty to a pair of Class I misdemeanor counts in April. Prosecutors charged him with third-degree assault-domestic violence and attempted possession of controlled substance-methamphetamine.

A Plattsmouth police officer responded to a local mobile home park Sept. 7 for a report of a disturbance. The officer found Lybarger at the scene and discovered a methamphetamine pipe in a bag at the mobile home.

Lybarger was involved in a second altercation at the same Plattsmouth location Feb. 22. Officers responded to the scene after emergency dispatchers received a message that Lybarger had hurt a woman there.

Authorities learned Lybarger and a woman had started arguing at the mobile home. Lybarger picked up the victim and threw her to the ground. The force of the collision with the ground caused her collarbone to break.

Deputy County Attorney Richard Fedde told the court a one-year jail term was appropriate in the assault case. He also asked the court to implement a Specialized Substance Abuse Supervision (SSAS) form of probation on the drug charge.

SSAS probation offers many high-intensity treatment options to assist defendants with their substance abuse issues. Fedde said this could help Lybarger because many of his previous criminal actions were drug-related.

“Hopefully it will set him on the correct road so we never see him on either of these types of cases again,” Fedde said.

Defense attorney Julie Bear said Lybarger had been lodged in Cass County Jail for the previous 102 days. She said her client felt his incarceration had been “a blessing in disguise” because it had forced him to become sober. She asked the court to issue only a probation sentence so Lybarger could begin treatment sooner.

Judge Michael Smith said Lybarger was not a suitable candidate for probation in the assault case because he had broken the victim’s collarbone. He ordered Lybarger to spend 248 days in Cass County Jail with credit for 102 already served.

Smith also ordered Lybarger to spend 24 months on SSAS probation. He must complete a batterer’s intervention program, abstain from alcohol and drugs and follow all treatment recommendations.

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