Thursday, July 5, 2007

Guilty Plea in Turkey Theft, Elder Abuse

A Yuba City man who tied up a 71-year-old East Marysville woman and stole her Thanksgiving turkey and Ford Bronco pleaded guilty Monday in Yuba County Superior Court to charges of robbery and elder abuse.

Scott Conrad Herrera, 35, is expected to be sentenced July 25 to eight years in prison as part of a plea agreement. He will have to serve at least 85 percent of the time, said Assistant District Attorney Melanie Bendorf.

Herrera, wearing a black ski mask, entered the apartment in the 2000 block of Ahern Street on Nov. 21 and bound the victim with plastic ties before taking valuables and the turkey from a refrigerator. He left with the keys to her vehicle, according to a Marysville Police Department report.

Herrera denied committing the crime and told Judge James Curry he was accepting the plea agreement only because Sutter County authorities threatened him with a 12-year sentence on two charges, including robbery, if he did not.

“I could take this to trial and beat it,” Herrera said.

A charge that Herrera used a gun in the crime was dropped for lack of evidence, said Bendorf. As part of the plea agreement, Curry will consider other dropped charges, including burglary and vehicle theft, in setting the sentence.

The Sutter County District Attorney’s office agreed to let charges there be considered as part of sentencing in Yuba County, said Bendorf. With the help of the state Department of Justice, Marysville police traced Herrera to Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, where he was arrested in December.

Herrera left the victim bound in a back room of the second-floor apartment. Neighbors heard her cries for help, cut her loose and called police. Albertsons supermarket gave the woman a turkey. Appeal-Democrat reporter Rob Young can be reached at 749-4710. You may e-mail him at

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