The Star-News

Three decades behind bars

Sat, Dec 21 2013 12:00 PM Posted By: Neal Putnam

A prison term of 34 years and four months was handed down Dec. 16 to an armed robber who held up two stores in Chula Vista and 14 other businesses elsewhere.

The attorney for Luis Alonso Cruz, 25, of San Diego, asked for the sentence he received while the prosecutor sought an 89-year prison term before San Diego Superior Court Judge Eugenia Eyherabide.

Deputy District Attorney Martin Doyle said Cruz pulled a gun on 13 people in small businesses in a robbery spree in 2012 and asked for consecutive terms. Three other victims were robbed without a gun pointed at them.

Eyherabide fined Cruz $11,426. She specifically ordered Cruz to pay $1,630 to the Pine Palace Liquor store on Third Avenue. Doyle said Cruz and another robber forced the liquor store owner to open the safe in the Sept. 3, 2012, robbery. She ordered Cruz to pay $1,742 to the other stores held up.

His attorney, Monique Carter, said her client will have to serve 85 percent of the 34-year term before he can be paroled. She said Cruz will be “close to an elder” when he is paroled, and she added that he does have remorse.
Cruz, who said nothing in court, has a residential burglary conviction from 2010. His mother, sister, and niece watched the sentencing. He received jail credits of 506 days.

Cruz pleaded guilty Aug. 27 to 16 counts of robbery and felon in possession of a firearm which include the Aug. 18, 2012 hold-up of a 7-Eleven store in Chula Vista. Cruz was on parole for a residential burglary committed in 2010.

© 2009 The Star-News