A 49-year-old South San Francisco woman who participated in a brutal 2008 crowbar attack that left a 78-year-old Daly City woman blinded likely faces six months in jail after a judge drastically reduced a four-year prison offer that had been on the table for the last two years.
A judge could still sentence Joann Rivera Ortiz to more than six months in jail at a March hearing but warned her she cannot withdraw the no contest plea to residential burglary.
“We were extremely disappointed in the resolution,” said District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.
Ortiz is not accused of personally assaulting the victim in the case but prosecutors say she tried luring her away from home so accomplices could burglarize it. She was also tied to a Pacifica burglary the previous month.
In the assault case, Ortiz reportedly called the victim using a cellphone and said she was a Pan-American agent who needed to know if she would be home to receive a package around 3 p.m. Jan. 12, 2008. The suspicious woman called her children who instructed her not to answer the door if anybody knocked.
Accomplice Jose Perez-Gonzalez, 33, of South San Francisco went to the Serramonte neighborhood home and used a crowbar to pry open the house’s rear glass sliding door. After encountering the home owner, Perez-Gonzalez beat her in the head with the bar and fled through the front door, setting off the silent alarm, and in a getaway car driven by Juan Carlos Cuellar.
Daly City police responded to the alarm and found the semi-conscious victim and the crowbar inside the house. Police arrested Cellar at his Daly City home after being tipped by a person who claimed he had confessed. Perez-Gonzales fled to his native Mexico and remained at large until Mexican law enforcement officials apprehended him and then extradited him five months later.
Cuellar served two years in prison for residential burglary. Perez-Gonzalez received 11 years and eight months in prison after being convicted of attempted robbery, residential burglary, felony assault with a deadly weapon, felony elder abuse, residential burglary, possession of stolen property and mayhem.
Ortiz is out of custody on $50,000 bail bond.
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