Two plead no contest to $200,000 robbery at Cal Expo
07/30/2014 4:42 PM
07/31/2014 6:18 AM
On the second day of jury selection, two men who were about to go on trial in the $200,000 robbery of Cal Expo’s food vendor during the State Fair four years ago decided to plead no contest in the case.
Sacramento Superior Court Judge Greta Curtis Fall on Wednesday scheduled the sentencing for the two defendents, Antonio Terrance Harvey and Gene Irvin Felder for Aug. 29. Harvey, 54, a former Ovations food service employee, is facing a two year sentence and was released from the downtown jail for time served.
Felder, 36, who was identified in court papers as Harvey’s brother, and who has three prior felony convictions, agreed to six years in state prison. Two of Felder’s previous convictions were drug-related, according to court records, and the third was for felony evasion of the police.
“We’re happy it’s resolved,” Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Grippi said of the plea agreement. “We’re comfortable with the resolution, given the complicated history of the case and the evidentiary issues.”
None of the three women who were ordered at gunpoint to give up their money could conclusively identify the suspects.
Neither of the defendants’ attorneys was available for comment Wednesday.
According to a detective’s summary of the case contained in an arrest warrant affidavit, two men walked into the Cal Expo money room, the location of which is a secret, about 10 p.m. on July 21, 2010, and told the three women working with the cash to get on the floor.
“Don’t talk,” one of the women said a robber with a gun told them, according to the affidavit of Sacramento police Detective Darren McMillan. “Don’t move. If you pick up your head, I will kill you.”
The robbers got away with $200,287.95, the affidavit said.
Harvey and Felder were not booked in the case until more than two years later.
Each had been charged with a single count of conspiracy and three counts of robbery, one for each victim. They each pleaded Wednesday to one of the robbery counts. The other three charges in the complaint were dismissed.
Shortly after 11 on the night of the robbery, Twin Rivers school district police came across Harvey standing outside his truck on Roseville Road at Marconi Avenue with duct tape wrapped around his arms and legs, according to a prosecutor’s trial brief.
Harvey claimed he had been kidnapped.
“He said he was driving to his house to meet his brother for a beer at approximately 9 p.m. when what he thought was an unmarked police car waved him down,” said the brief filed by Deputy District Attorney Katherine Martin. “He claimed that three men got out of the car and kidnapped him at gunpoint, wrapping him in duct tape and driving him around for approximately an hour and a half. During that time period, they took his work phone and keys, specifically asking which keys opened the money room at Cal Expo.”
McMillan’s affidavit and the DA’s brief said that discrepancies between Harvey’s phone records and his statements to police raised questions about his story.
“Immediately after the robbery, defendant Felder called defendant Harvey with defendant Felder moving from the area around Cal Expo toward Roseville Road and with defendant Harvey moving from his house to Roseville Road,” the DA’s brief said. “Both phones stopped logging calls around the area where defendant Harvey was found after his kidnapping.”
Harvey, who had been employed as the acting night warehouse manager at the time of the robbery, appeared to be “drunk or high” at the time he spoke with the Twin Rivers police, the brief said.
Editor’s note: Previous versions of this story incorrectly said Antonio Terrance Harvey and Gene Irvin Felder were immediately sentenced on Wednesday. Earlier versions also incorrectly stated that they were booked nearly three months after the 2010 robbery. We regret the errors.
Sacto 911 StaffBill Lindelof
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