A Columbus man pleaded guilty to trespassing and assault Wednesday in connection with a February incident in which where he kicked down the door to his estranged wife’s Delaware County apartment and assaulted her friend.

Brandon Black, 30, appeared in Delaware County Common Pleas Court Wednesday morning with this attorney, Donald Regensburger, and entered a guilty plea to a charge of trespassing, a fourth-degree felony, and assault, a first-degree misdemeanor.

Delaware County Common Pleas Judge David Gormley told Black the felony charge could result in a prison term of between six to 18 months. The misdemeanor charge could result in up to 180 days in the Delaware County Jail. Gormley set a sentencing date for July 29 at 9 a.m.

Black had previously been charged with aggravated burglary, a first-degree felony; the assault charge; and a charge of aggravated menacing, a first-degree misdemeanor. The aggravated burglary charge also carried a firearm specification that would have added several years on to any potential prison sentence.

As part of plea negotiations with prosecutors, the aggravated burglary charge was lowered to trespassing and the aggravated menacing charge was dismissed. The firearm specification was also dropped.

Gormley asked Black to detail the incident that brought the charges.

Black told Gormley that on Feb. 2 he went to the home of his estranged wife, Ashley, to pick up his daughter and was denied entry. Black confessed that he kicked down the door and was confronted by a friend of his wife, Zachary Hoffer. Black said that Hoffer wouldn’t let him get to his daughter and alleged that Hoffer took a swing at him but missed.

Black said he then hit Hoffer in the face.

Black was indicted on the charges on Feb. 10. A trial was originally scheduled for April but it was continued to June 21. On Monday, a change a plea hearing was scheduled.

Black was out on bond Tuesday.

Black being sworn in Wednesday morning in Delaware County Common Pleas Court.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2016/06/web1_black-swearing-in.jpgBlack being sworn in Wednesday morning in Delaware County Common Pleas Court. Glenn Battishill | The Gazette

By Glenn Battishill

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Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.