Two Tulare Men Sentenced for Kidnapping, Carjacking and Robbery
Earlier this month, two Tulare County men were sentenced for carjacking a Delano produce vendor at gunpoint, driving him to a secluded area and stealing his cell phone and wallet. One of the men (21) was sentenced to 20 years in the California state prison after pleading guilty to robbery, carjacking using a firearm and one count of receiving stolen property. The other man (26) was sentenced to 17 years to life after pleading guilty to kidnapping for robbery, carjacking using a firearm, robbery and receiving stolen property. In actuality, they got off pretty easy since one of the actual crimes they committed was Penal Code 209.5 California’s law against kidnapping during the commission of a carjacking. This offense alone is punishable by life in prison with the possibility of parole.
You violate Penal Code 209.5 PC California’s law against kidnapping during the commission of a carjacking when you carjack someone’s car and drive away with at least one person still in the vehicle. But before prosecutors can convict you of this offense, you have to (1) move that person a substantial distance away from the site of the carjacking, and (2) the movement must cause that person more harm than what was merely incidental to the carjacking.
Given the facts above, the defendants met that standard. By driving the victim to a secluded area, they moved him further than that which was incidental to the carjacking and simultaneously increased his risk of harm by doing the same.
There must have been some mitigating factors (or problems with the prosecution’s case) that enabled their California criminal defense attorney to negotiate a plea bargain down to the 17 and 20-year sentences.