November 13, 2014: Man Sentenced to Life in Prison for San Gabriel Valley Home Robberies
A 33-year-old man convicted of committing residential robberies in the San Gabriel Valley was sentenced today to 374 years to life in state prison, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.
On July 23, defendant Jose Lewis Avila was found guilty by a jury 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.
During the trial, prosecutors said Avila carried out nine robberies in the San Gabriel Valley between March and April 2011.
The defendant targeted 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 robberies, several law enforcement agencies assembled to create a task force. Through surveillance video and credit card charges, police identified Avila as the perpetrator, prosecutors said.
The case was investigated by the Alhambra, Arcadia, Monterey Park and San Gabriel Police Departments.