News Releases

February 22, 2019: Man Pleads No Contest to Robbing Gas Station, Grocery Store

Paul Eakins, Public Information Officer
(213) 257-2000

A 22-year-old East Hollywood man has admitted to robbing a gas station and a grocery store in September, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced today.

Christian Vela pleaded no contest yesterday afternoon to one felony count of second-degree robbery and admitted an allegation of a prior felony conviction in case BA471833. He additionally entered a no contest plea to one count of second-degree robbery and admitted an allegation of a prior felony conviction in case BA472895.

Vela is expected to be sentenced to eight years in state prison on March 1 in Department 32 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center under the terms of the negotiated plea agreement.

His co-defendant, 21-year-old Jeanette Zavala of East Hollywood, pleaded no contest in an open plea to the court on Nov. 8 to one felony count each of second-degree robbery and vandalism causing more than $400 in damage in case BA471833. She faces up to five years and eight months in state prison when she is sentenced on March 4 in Department 34.

Deputy District Attorney Christopher Laidig prosecuted both cases.

On Sept. 26, the defendants entered a gas station in the 600 block of North Western Avenue in Los Angeles where Zavala stole a case of beer. When the clerk intervened, Vela was accused of shooting the victim multiple times with a BB gun.

The victim was taken to a local hospital where he was treated for his injuries.

Later that evening, the defendants got into a confrontation with employees at a restaurant in the 5400 block of West Sunset Boulevard. There, the pair allegedly damaged kitchen equipment and Zavala shot a window with a BB gun.

Police officers were called to the scene and detained the defendants.

The second case for Vela involves a Sept. 24 incident in which he took items from a grocery store in the 1600 block of North Vermont Avenue in East Hollywood.

The Los Angeles Police Department investigated both cases.