Assault suspect pleads no contest



One of two brothers charged with assault after an alleged early-morning beatdown on a group of youngsters in Arroyo Grande has changed his plea.

Aaron Dee Shewmaker, 40, a construction worker from Atascadero, pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of assault and battery on Dec. 10 at the Grover Beach courthouse.

Shewmaker was sentenced to 10 days in the county jail and issued a protective order on behalf of the alleged victims by Judge Jac Crawford. He was ordered to pay a $550 fine and faces restitution toward the alleged victims in the case, to be determined at a restitution hearing on March 9, according to Deputy District Attorney Andrew Baird.

Shewmaker is one of two brothers who were passengers in a vehicle driven by an off-duty sheriff’s deputy stopped by Arroyo Grande police on Sept. 6. Units were responding to a domestic disturbance call after a group of people on Nelson Street reported being assaulted by individuals who took off in a white Chevy Tahoe.

Police located the vehicle pulling into a convenience store where they questioned the driver and the two brothers. The driver, James Lesperance, a SLO County senior sheriff’s deputy, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. Aaron Dee Shewmaker, and his brother, Allen Lee, 42, were also arrested and eventually charged with assault and battery. Because police weren’t present during the alleged assault and the extent of injuries to the alleged victims weren’t considered serious, the brothers were issued order-to-appear-in-court citations and released.

Lesperance pleaded no contest to driving with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher on Oct. 13 at the SLO Courthouse.

Baird said Allen Lee still faces prosecution, but because the police report of the incident indicated he was allegedly less involved than his brother, the D.A.’s office is conferring with the reported victims for more input.

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