A Davenport man pleaded guilty Wednesday to assaulting his girlfriend, Melissa Lewis, who died from her injuries less than a week later.
Thomas James Lopez, 56, pleaded guilty in Scott County District Court to two counts of willful injury causing serious injury, a Class C felony, each punishable by up to 10 years in prison, and domestic abuse assault-strangulation with injury, a Class D felony punishable by up to five years in prison.
The first willful injury charge stems from the assault on Lewis on Aug. 31, and the second charge stems from an incident in December 2015, according to amended trial information filed Wednesday.
Lopez initially faced the more serious charge of second-degree murder, which carries a sentence of up to 50 years in prison.
According to a written plea agreement filed this week, prosecutors said a prison sentence is mandatory on the willful injury charges and they will recommend that all three sentences run consecutive, or back-to-back, for a total of up to 25 years.
The plea agreement, which was signed by Lopez, also states that he will agree to the consecutive sentences and will waive his right to appeal.
He will be sentenced May 4.
According to arrest affidavits filed by Davenport police, Lopez and Lewis, 37, lived together in the 1600 block of West 14th Street.
The couple started arguing just after midnight on Aug. 31. The fight turned physical when Lopez slapped Lewis across the face at least two times and choked her, according to the affidavit.
Lopez also pushed Lewis at least four times. The fourth time he pushed her, Lewis fell back and hit her head on a window sill, according to the affidavit.
She was taken to a local hospital by medics for serious life-threatening injuries. She died Sept. 4, according to the affidavit.
Lopez admitted to police that he assaulted Lewis and that she was in the hospital because of his actions, according to an application in support of a search warrant that was filed in December.
He also told police that when Lewis hit her head on the window sill, he knew it had done serious damage. However, he did not try to help her and let her "sleep" for hours and "went about his day" before calling 911, according to the application.
Lewis was taken to a hospital by medics and died Sept. 4 as a result of the injuries in the assault, according to court documents.
Lopez has remained in the Scott County Jail since Sept. 1. District Court Judge Thomas Reidel revoked his $1.025 million bond following his plea Wednesday.