LANCASTER – A 25-year-old Palmdale woman has been sentenced to 27 years in prison in connection with a string of local robberies that occurred in 2011 and 2012, authorities said.
Brooke Nicole Hollins — one of three defendants in the case — was sentenced Wednesday in an Antelope Valley courtroom, according to Ricardo Santiago of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
The case stems from several armed robberies that occurred between Dec. 12, 2011 and Sept. 24, 2012, at several Palmdale stores, including CVS, Walgreens and Little Caesar.
Hollins and co-defendants Mahealani Austin, 28, and Marcus Travis Robinson, 27, were arrested Feb. 5, 2014, after a “surveillance and search warrant operation,” which also turned up a firearm and other evidence related to the crimes, sheriff’s officials said in a previous statement.
The trio originally faced 72 criminal counts, but the complaint was later amended to 33 criminal counts, which included multiple counts of robbery and kidnapping for robbery and named 17 victims.
At a preliminary court hearing in 2014, several of the victims — many of them store managers — testified that they were confronted by ski-masked robbers dressed in black who threatened them at gunpoint and took them to isolated areas of the retail locations. [Read more here.]
Several of the stores were robbed more than once, officials said.
Following the multi-day preliminary court hearing, Hollins, Austin and Robinson were ordered to stand trial on 13 counts each of second-degree robbery, eight counts each of kidnapping to commit robbery, four counts each of attempted robbery and two counts each of criminal threats, according to Deputy District Attorney Craig Kleffman.
Hollins pleaded guilty Oct. 31 to five counts of kidnapping, and the remaining charges were dismissed, according to Ricardo Santiago of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Mahealani Austin pleaded guilty Oct. 28 to five counts of armed robbery and one count of conspiracy to commit robbery, Santiago said. He is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 27, 2017, and faces up to 35 years in prison.
Marcus Robinson pleaded no contest Oct. 31 to 10 counts of armed robbery and one count of conspiracy to commit robbery, Santiago said. Robinson is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 16 and faces up to 45 years in prison.
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