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Gangsters get prison time for robbing 99 cent store

Two gangsters were sentenced to prison Thursday morning for armed robbery of a 99 Cent store despite their effort to withdraw their guilty pleas.

In September 2011, Ricky Earl Johnson and Corey Lammar Kimbrough entered the store in the 15500 block of Main Street in Hesperia and demanded money from the employees, according to San Bernardino County Sheriff’s officials. They ran off with an undisclosed amount of cash.

The defendants decided to accept the prosecution’s offer while their trial was going on in July. They were told that if convicted of all charges, they could face more than 50 years in prison.

Johnson, 30, of San Bernardino and Kimbrough, 27, of Victorville each pleaded guilty to committing robbery to benefit a gang with gun enhancement.

Victorville Superior Court Judge Jules Fleuret was pronouncing his judgment Thursday when Johnson and Kimbrough began telling their attorneys they wanted to withdraw their pleas. But Deputy Public Defender Luke Byward, who represents Johnson, told the court it wasn’t timely and there was no legal basis for withdrawal.

The judge told the defendants they had already been sentenced and they could file an appeal later.

Johnson was sentenced to 13 years in prison, while Kimbrough got 14 years. Kimbrough got more punishment because he had a strike from his 2002 attempted robbery conviction.

“It’s fortunate that the judge would not entertain any request for plea withdrawal so Mr. Johnson doesn’t have to risk doing life in prison,” Byward said.

Tomoya Shimura may be reached at (760) 955-5368 or TShimura@VVDailyPress.com. Follow Tomoya on Facebook at facebook.com/ShimuraTomoya.


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