By Leila Katibah
MODESTO, CA – After pleading no contest to three felony charges, the accused instantly became a “third-striker,” and was sentenced to seven years and eight months and denied probation by Judge Dawna Reeves Monday morning here in Stanislaus County Superior Court.
The accused was charged with two counts of robbery, one count of attempted robbery, and a firearms enhancement. A charge of attempted murder and vicarious arms enhancements were dismissed outright, after the entry of a plea deal arranged by defense attorney Robert L. Forkner and the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s office.
He is also being charged in accordance with California’s three strikes law, because the two robberies and one attempted robbery occurred in “three separate locations, with three different victims,” stated Deputy District Attorney Patrick Hogan.
Judge Dawna Reeves clarified to the accused, “You’re pleading to two completed robberies and one attempted robbery. Everything else in the complaint is being dismissed against you except for one reduced arming enhancement…. you’re agreeing to a seven year, eight month commitment.” The arms enhancement was reduced because an accomplice was armed, not the accused.
After serving his term in prison, the accused will be on parole for three years, noted the judge, adding, “If you violate the terms of your parole, you could be returned to state prison for an additional one year for each violation.
Judge Reeves ordered an actual restitution to be paid, in addition to state restitution, at a minimum of $300 and a maximum of $10,000.
“Today’s conviction in each of these counts can be used against you in the future. If you ever get another theft related offense, these can be charged against us prior convictions and it will increase the punishment that you receive the next time,” explained the judge regarding the three strikes conviction.
“In the future, if you commit and are convicted of any other felony offense, you’re going to be subject to double the normal state prison term because you have these strikes on your record,” continued Reeves. “If you ever commit another violent or serious felony and you’re convicted of that violent or serious felony, the minimum amount of time that you could receive on the next strike would at least be 25 years to life in prison.”
She warned that in his case it is “especially important” that he not have another violent or serious felony conviction. The accused accepted the terms of the plea deal and reiterated his no contest plea, ensuring the case will not move forward to jury trial.