The jury deliberated for less than a day before finding Jose Lewis Avila of Chino guilty of nine counts of second-degree robbery, one count of assault with a deadly weapon, one count of dissuading a witness from reporting a crime and one count of child abuse.
Jurors also found true special allegations that Avila used a deadly and dangerous weapon, a BB gun, and that he inflicted great bodily injury.
The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorneys David Ayvazian and Gabriel Kim. Avila is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 26 at the Los Angeles County Superior Court in Alhambra in Department X. He faces a maximum sentence of 259 years to life in prison.
Prosecutors said Avila committed nine robberies in the San Gabriel Valley between March and April 2011.
The defendant targeted Asian women driving alone. Once the victims arrived at their homes, Avila accosted them and demanded their money and property. During each robbery, the defendant used a BB gun and covered his face with a bandana or mask, prosecutors added.
In one of the incidents, the defendant shot the victim in the face with the BB gun as she was holding her child.
As a result of the many robberies, several law enforcement agencies assembled to create a taskforce.
Through surveillance video and credit card charges, police identified Avila as the perpetrator, prosecutors said.
On April 11, 2011, police pulled over Avila during a traffic stop and discovered a BB gun, mask and gloves in his car. The defendant was arrested and held on $1.61 million bail.
The case was investigated by the Alhambra, Arcadia, Monterey Park and San Gabriel Police Departments.
# # #
About the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office
Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey leads the largest local prosecutorial office in the nation. Her staff of nearly 1,000 attorneys, 300 investigators and 800 support staff members is dedicated to seeking justice for victims of crime and enhancing public safety. Last year, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office prosecuted more than 73,000 felony defendants and 113,000 misdemeanor defendants.
Public Information Officer
SArdalani (at) da.lacounty (dot) gov