Crime - Sacto 911

Defendant leaves Yolo courthouse before guilty verdict

Bench warrants were issued for the arrest of a Suisun City woman who left the Yolo County Courthouse in Woodland during a short break in her trial for vehicle theft. She was not present when the jury returned a guilty verdict.

Rochelle Lacy, 43, was found guilty Wednesday of three felonies for vehicle theft, possession of a stolen vehicle and using another person’s personal identifying information for an unlawful purpose, according to a Yolo County District Attorney’s Office news release. The jury also found that Lacy had a prior strike conviction under California’s “three-strikes” law, for robbery in 2013.

The vehicle theft occurred earlier this year. On Jan. 10, Terry Comer of Suisun City noticed the keys to his Ford pickup truck missing after Lacy had visited his residence. Fearing his truck would be stolen, he let the air out of one tire. When Comer woke up the next morning, his truck was gone. On Jan. 11, Lacy told a Suisun City police officer that she did not have the truck, authorities said.

On Jan. 12, officers found Lacy in Woodland in the driver’s seat of the truck. She tried to convince officers that she had purchased the truck, producing a document that she said was a bill of sale. But officers became suspicious of the document when they noticed multiple dates on it and that Comer’s first name was misspelled. It was later determined that Comer’s signature had been forged, authorities said.

During a short break in this week’s jury trial in Woodland, Lacy left the courthouse and did not return, the District Attorney’s Office reported. The trial proceeded in her absence and she was not present when the jury returned the guilty verdicts. Based on the verdicts, Yolo Superior Court Judge Sam McAdam issued bench warrants for Lacy’s arrest.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy