Request to withdraw plea in Hobby Lobby, school lockdown case to be heard Monday Featured

Jose Omar Avelar-Martinez. Jose Omar Avelar-Martinez. Lyon County Jail photo

A sentencing hearing related to a series of lockdowns in northwest Emporia this past spring is on Monday's docket in Lyon County District Court, but a request from the defendant in the case will be heard first.

Jose Omar Avelar-Martinez originally pleaded no contest to aggravated assault and felon in possession of a firearm after disturbances at Candlewood Suites and Hobby Lobby on April 27. He has moved to withdraw his plea, so Lyon County District Administrative Judge Merlin Wheeler will rule on that motion before deciding on a sentence.

Avelar-Martinez and Jennifer Guerrero were both charged with numerous drug possession counts, while Martinez also faced aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and felon in possession of a firearm, after a stay at Emporia’s Candlewood Suites led to a disturbance at the hotel. Martinez allegedly pointed a handgun at a woman and used his pickup to chase her before she crashed into a retaining wall. The incident continued as the woman ran to Hobby Lobby, triggering unfounded reports of an active shooter situation and leading to short lockdowns at the business as well as Emporia High School, Emporia Middle School and Timmerman Elementary.

Martinez and Guerrero were arrested near Eureka that evening.

Guerrero has pleaded to marijuana possession. She received one year of probation with an underlying 6-month prison term.

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Last modified on Sunday, 06 October 2019 06:54