LANCASTER – A Palmdale woman and her father pleaded no contest Wednesday to kidnapping a woman who was dumped in the desert near Edwards Air Force Base in 2019.
Shaniya Nicole Poche-Lawton, 24, pleaded no contest to kidnapping and admitted personally using a firearm, and is facing 15 years in prison, according to Ricardo Santiago with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. Her father, 57-year-old Stanley Alfred Lawton of Riverside, is expected to be sentenced to 25 years to life in state prison in connection with his no contest plea to aggravated kidnapping with the intent to commit robbery, Santiago said. Stanley Lawton admitted prior strikes for robbery and attempted murder, according to Santiago.
Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said the victim was abducted Nov. 1, 2019, from the North Las Vegas area, and she was found five days later by military police who were making their routine rounds outside the Air Force base.
The woman — who knew the two defendants — was kidnapped at gunpoint, driven to the Antelope Valley and was subsequently left in the desert, where she was able to seek help, prosecutors said shortly after the case was filed.
“At some point, she was sexually assaulted and left for dead,” Sheriff’s Capt. Eduardo Hernandez said shortly after the two were arrested in early November 2019.
The father and daughter were initially charged with a series of counts, including attempted murder, forcible rape and robbery, but the rape charge was dismissed against Shaniya Poche-Lawton in January 2021, according to court records. The remaining counts against them are expected to be dismissed as a result of their pleas.
The two have remained behind bars since they were taken into custody by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, jail records show.
They are due back in a Lancaster courtroom for sentencing March 30.
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