Man from Guatemala has been in Delavan four months

By Vicky Wedig


A judge Wednesday denied reducing the bond of a man from Guatemala charged with stabbing a man at the Super 8 Motel in Delavan on Saturday.

Bond was set at $10,000 cash for Eduardo Godinez Diaz, 29, of Guatemala, who was arrested Saturday for the stabbing of Juan Lopez-Perez, 21.

Diaz appeared in Walworth County Circuit Court on Wednesday via video from the Walworth County Jail and was represented by attorney Francis Raff. Raff asked that bond be reduced, saying Diaz has lived in the area for four months at the Super 8, works in Delavan and has friends who can drive him to court appearances.

“Ten thousand dollars seems high,” he said.

Assistant district attorney Matthew Leusink disagreed, saying Diaz’s ties to the area are fleeting and his more permanent residence is in Guatemala.

Judge Kristine Drettwan agreed.

“These are serious offenses,” she said. “I think the cash bond here is reasonable.”

However, since Diaz will remain in custody, Drettwan asked Leusink to prepare a criminal complaint in his case by Friday to keep proceedings moving forward. The court also is seeking an interpreter who can translate Diaz’s native language of mam, a Mayan language spoken in four Guatemalan departments and one Mexican state.

An interpreter who speaks Spanish, which is Diaz’s second language, translated proceedings for him Wednesday.

Delavan Police Chief Tim O’Neill said the language barrier presented difficulties investigating the case even with a Spanish interpreter. He said the victim also speaks mam and was in the same room as Diaz at the Super 8, but police were not able to determine the relationship between Diaz and Lopez-Perez.

Police and paramedics were called to the Super 8 at about 10:20 p.m. Saturday where Lopez-Perez was on the floor in a hallway believed to be suffering from appendicitis, according to Delavan police.

Police determined Diaz stabbed Lopez-Perez with a knife. Diaz faces charges of second-degree reckless injury and disorderly conduct.

Lopez-Perez is in good condition, O’Neill said.

Additional information can be found in next week’s Delavan Enterprise.


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