Schuyler woman arrested for assaulting neighbor

Date: 2009-07-29

By MOLLY MONTAG
Sioux City Journal

SCHUYLER - A former South Sioux City woman charged in connection with her foster child's death and her husband were being held Wednesday on charges they allegedly attempted to kill an eastern Nebraska man.

According to court documents, Tisha Vega, 34, and Carlos Vega, 42, were arrested Sunday in the assault of one of Tisha Vega's neighbors in Schuyler.

Tisha Vega faces sentencing Aug. 25 in Dakota City for child abuse charges filed in connection with the death of Nathaniel Saunsoci-Mitchell, the Vegas' 20-month-old foster child.

Nathaniel died in 2006 from head injuries authorities alleged happened while he was in Tisha Vega's care at her South Sioux City home. She had faced a felony manslaughter charge for his death, but the charges were reduced earlier this month as part of a plea agreement.

On Wednesday, booking officers at the Platte County Jail said Carlos and Tisha Vega were both being held in lieu of $750,000 bonds on charges of attempted murder, aiding and abetting an assault and assault by strangulation.

Those charges are different from those stated in Colfax County court documents, which list Tisha Vega as facing a second count of aiding and abetting rather than the charge of assault by strangulation.

According to an affidavit filed Monday by Schuyler police, Miguel Garcia told officers that Carlos and Tisha Vega entered his house at 2 a.m. Sunday and attacked him.

Garcia told police Carlos Vega choked him, causing him to begin losing consciousness and later to vomit blood. The affidavit states that Tisha Vega, Garcia's neighbor, also participated in the alleged assault.

"Miguel stated he knew Tisha kicked him in the nose, but both parties kicked and hit him all over his body," the affidavit states.

Garcia suffered an epidural hematoma and cracked skull, which court documents described as life-threatening injuries.

Although the affidavit states Carlos Vega told police his wife said someone had tried to rape her earlier that morning, it does not identify Garcia as that man.

Tisha Vega is alleged to have told police "she had no idea what (the officer) was talking about."

In the Saunsoci-Mitchell case, Tisha Vega originally was charged with manslaughter, but on July 16, she entered into a plea agreement with Dakota County prosecutors that allowed her to plead no contest to two counts of misdemeanor child abuse.

Dakota County district court officials said the child abuse charges in Tisha Vega's plea agreement stem from when Nathaniel was bitten in the face by a dog and when he broke his leg.

Tisha Vega's next court appearance in the assault case is a preliminary hearing Aug. 4 in Colfax County. Carlos Vega's preliminary hearing is set for Sept. 1.

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