Santa Rosa, CA – April 19, 2021 – Defendant Henry Palencia-Diaz, 21 years old of Santa Rosa, was sentenced today by the Honorable Peter K. Ottenweller to serve 180 days in county jail, pay $1,500 in restitution, and be placed on two years formal probation, after pleading “no contest” in March of this year to charges of assaulting of his 76-year-old co-worker.
The charge resulted from a verbal dispute that turned physical while the two men were working in the loading dock area of a warehouse in Santa Rosa on January 8, 2020. The defendant approached the victim from behind and struck him on the back of the head, knocking him to the ground. The defendant struck the victim a couple more times while he was on the ground. The victim sustained a concussion and cuts and bruises to his face and upper body as a result of the assault.
Part of the plea negotiation required the defendant to write a letter of apology to the victim. In the letter, which was read aloud in court at Monday’s sentencing, the defendant asked for the victim’s forgiveness and wished him well. Judge Ottenweller stated in open court that he found the defendant’s apology letter to be “heart felt.” For his part, the victim stated that he felt bad for the defendant, due to his young age, though he declined to provide an opinion regarding sentencing.
The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Dustin Hughson assisted by District Attorney Investigator Lyn McCarthy. The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office headed the investigation.