Local News

Monday, Jan 20 2014 04:34 PM

Plea deals taken in Marketplace robbery, chase

BY JASON KOTOWSKI Californian staff writer jkotowski@bakersfield.com

Plea deals have been accepted in connection with an early December robbery at The Marketplace and subsequent car chase in which one person was shot by police and three men were arrested.

Eric Miles Jr. and Brandon Burns are scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 19, according to court records. Miles, 23, pleaded no contest to grand theft, resisting arrest, recklessly evading a peace officer and receiving stolen property.

Burns, 27, pleaded no contest to grand theft; the disposition of the other charges against him were not listed on the court website and court offices were closed for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Charges were dismissed against third defendant Montrice Maize.

The three were each charged with several felonies in the Dec. 4 robbery that led to a chase in southwest Bakersfield.

Police said the suspects placed an advertisement on Craigslist selling an iPhone 5c. They were contacted about it, and agreed to meet the buyer outside the Chase Bank in The Marketplace at 9001 Ming Ave.

Upon meeting the suspects, the victim took cash from a duffel bag, gave it to them and started checking the phone.

But one of the suspects grabbed the duffel bag, and the others got into a car and began driving off, police said. They stopped to pick up the suspect with the duffel bag as they left The Marketplace.

The victim called police, and officers followed the suspects' blue 2005 Nissan Maxima to a business complex at Ashe Road and White Lane. Police said Miles, the driver, slowed the vehicle and the other two suspects got out and ran.

Miles made a sharp turn to get out of the complex and drove directly at a police officer who'd gotten out of his car.

The officer opened fire. Police said Miles was struck but continued out of the complex.

He drove north on Ashe Road and managed to get about 200 yards south of Stockdale Highway before stopping. Police found cash and other items -- including several iPhones -- linking the suspects to The Marketplace incident as well as earlier cellphone thefts in Visalia.

Miles was taken to Kern Medical Center with moderate injuries. He was booked into jail after recovering.

Maize and Burns were arrested later.

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