Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Willits Woman Convicted of Armed Robbery Holding a Cashier at Gunpoint for a Pack of Cigarettes


The following is a press release issued by the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office:

Lillian Ruth Maddock [Picture from the Mendocino County Sheriff Booking Logs]

With her jury trial scheduled to get underway this coming Monday (Nov. 9), defendant Lillian Ruth Maddock, age 36, of Ukiah, Redwood Valley, and Willits, instead waived her right to trial and pled no contest to robbery in the second degree, a felony.

She also admitted as true a sentencing enhancement charged by the DA alleging that she used a firearm in the commission of the robbery.

If the admitted firearm sentencing enhancement is left in place, the defendant’s state prison exposure for the robbery is 12, 13, or 15 years.

The defendant was charged with the July 2020 robbery of the Sinclair Gas convenience store in south Willits. Captured on the store’s surveillance camera, the defendant entered the store and went into the store’s restroom. When she came out of the restroom, she had a handgun drawn. She pointed the firearm at the clerk and demanded cigarettes. The clerk gave up a pack of cigarettes and the defendant and her gun departed. The clerk immediately called 9-1-1.

When the defendant was located and arrested, she did not have the firearm in her possession. The Willits Police officers backtracked the route she would have taken after leaving the store. They found an unlocked vehicle with an open door parked just south of Sinclair Gas. The defendant’s firearm had been stashed inside this car.

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After the change of plea was entered into the record, the defendant’s matter was referred to the Adult Probation Department for a background investigation and sentencing recommendation.

The in-custody defendant was ordered to be back in court for sentencing on December 18, 2020 at 9 o’clock in the morning in Department H at the Ukiah courthouse.

Because the defendant used a firearm in the course of the robbery, the law requires that she be sentenced to state prison UNLESS the sentencing judge overrides the DA’s charging discretion and the defendant’s own admission, and strikes the firearm enhancement “in the interests of justice.”

Any interested individual who wants to weigh in on what the appropriate sentence should be for this armed robber is welcome to send respectful letters of input to the Adult Probation Department in Ukiah no later than December 4th.

The sentencing hearing is open to the public. All interested individuals are also welcome to attend that hearing. Social distancing will be required for all in attendance and use of facial coverings will be strictly enforced in the courthouse.

The law enforcement agency that investigated this crime, characterized as a violent felony in the Penal Code, was the Willits Police Department.

The attorney handling this prosecution is District Attorney David Eyster.

“My prosecutors and I understand that our neighbors and business friends have no tolerance for and have a right to be protected from robbers — especially those armed with guns — who threaten to do grievous harm to hard-working night clerks and other citizens here in Mendocino County,” said DA Eyster. “I hope the court also understands this and sends the right message on the 18th that robbers brandishing firearms should not expect nor receive unearned leniency.”

Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Carly Dolan accepted the defendant’s 11th hour change of plea Friday afternoon. She will be the sentencing judge on December 18th.

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I like to think of myself as a reporter for the Average Joe. Journalism has become a craft defined largely by city dwellers on America's coasts. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

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