Probationer pleads guilty to conspiring with mom to collect unem - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Probationer pleads guilty to conspiring with mom to collect unemployment from jail

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A probationer who authorities were checking on when a San Diego police officer was fatally shot at a Skyline apartment last fall pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiring with his mother to try to collect unemployment benefits while in jail.

Alex Ray Charfauros - along with his mother Gwendolyn - each pleaded guilty to a felony count of conspiracy to commit unemployment fraud on the day their preliminary hearing was to go forward.

Gwendolyn Charfauros, 57, will be placed on three years probation and be ordered to repay $408, with sentencing set for April 13, said Deputy District Attorney Michael Runyon.

Her 26-year-old son was in jail after admitting a probation violation for a DUI offense when he called his mother and told her to fill out forms so he could collect unemployment, the prosecutor said.

Alex Charfauros also told his mother to keep half the money when it arrived, according to the change of plea.

He faces two years and eight months in prison when he is sentenced on the same date as his mother.   

Alex Charfauros was arrested the night of Oct. 27, when probation officers and federal marshals went looking for him at the second-story apartment in the 400 block of South Meadowbrook Drive. The search touched off a series of events that led to 50-year-old Officer Christopher Wilson being shot in the head.

Charfauros, who did not fire the fatal shot, later admitted violating his probation for a 2008 DUI causing injury.  

The night of the shooting someone slammed the door to the apartment on law enforcement officers, who in turn forced their way in and arrested Charfauros. Another man - later identified as fugitive Holim Lee, 30 - ran into a back bedroom and fired shots when officers kicked in that door, fatally wounding Wilson.

During a police standoff that ensued, Lee committed suicide by shooting himself, as did his girlfriend, 27-year-old Lucky Xayasene, according to the county coroner's office.

Wilson, a former Navy man and divorced father of two who lived in Tierrasanta, was a 17-year veteran of the San Diego Police Department. He had earned widespread respect among community members and colleagues alike for his commitment to the well-being of those living in the crime-plagued neighborhoods he patrolled in the city's southeastern reaches.

Wilson was the first on-duty law enforcement officer slain in San Diego County in nearly four years.

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