Lengthy prison sentence handed down for party robbery - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Lengthy prison sentence handed down for party robbery

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A man who held a gun on three people outside a house party in San Marcos as he and several others robbed them was sentenced Friday to nearly 75 years in prison.

Mautofu Maiava, 20, was convicted of three counts of robbery, assault, plus gang and gun allegations. His sentence was enhanced because of a prior robbery conviction.

Defense attorney Debbie Kirkwood told Judge Kathleen Lewis that Maiava is a polite and respectful young man who is distraught over his bad choices.

"He's not exactly sure why he did it," Kirkwood told the judge.

Maiava apologized and said he had a family who cares for him.

His father, Anthony, begged the judge to have mercy on his son.

"I wish I could take his place," the defendant's father said.

A second defendant, 19-year-old Johnnie Edwards, was sentenced Friday to 32 years and four months in prison. He was convicted of robbery counts, assault, plus hot prowl, gang and gun allegations.

His attorney said Edwards played a minor role in the robbery and noted that nobody was hurt.

But Deputy District Attorney Laurie Hauf said Edwards played an active role in the crime. And while none of the victims was physically injured, "it is a traumatic moment in their lives that they'll never get back," the prosecutor said.

The judge said Edwards' role was not minor, noting that the victims were robbed out of view of other partygoers.

A third man, 19-year-old Judd Liulamaga, pleaded guilty and faces 13 years behind bars when he is sentenced later this month.

Two others, Sam Niu, 22, and Gregg Leauanae, 21, are set to go to trial in August.

Party guests told deputies that five men robbed them at gunpoint outside a home at 505 Honeyglen Drive at 2:50 a.m. on April 6, 2013. Prosecutors said the defendants had been drinking and smoking marijuana.

A short time later, deputies spotted a suspect vehicle in Vista and took the five defendants into custody.

A search of the vehicle turned up property stolen in the robber and the gun used during the holdup.

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