2 of 4 suspects in Grass Valley home invasion robbery take pleas | TheUnion.com

2 of 4 suspects in Grass Valley home invasion robbery take pleas

Two of the four suspects in a Nov. 27, 2018, home invasion robbery pleaded guilty Monday to one count of assault with a firearm, in return for a three-year prison sentence.

The trial for Giovannie Morrison, 39, and Alton E. Morrison, 38, was set to start Tuesday in Nevada County Superior Court. They also were facing a charge of home invasion robbery, and could have faced a maximum sentence of 12 years if they had been convicted on both counts, Deputy District Attorney Cambria Lisonbee said.

Morrison and Edmondson both entered pleas of guilty pursuant to People v. West, meaning they do not admit to the charge. They are set to be sentenced on March 9.

The two remaining defendants — Christopher Brandon Mapp, 31, and Lorne Leroy Scott, 32 — are set to go to trial on Feb. 4.

The four men allegedly tied up people at a Pleasant Street residence before robbing them of 97 pounds of suspected pot and then fleeing in two separate cars. The resident freed herself and contacted police.

Placer County sheriff’s deputies received the description of one vehicle, stopping a silver Nissan occupied by Mapp and Scott at Highway 49 and Dry Creek Road and then stopping a brown Toyota occupied by Morrison and Edmondson.

After a preliminary hearing into the evidence, Superior Court Judge Candace Heidelberger ruled the detention of Morrison and Edmondson was illegal and that evidence found in their vehicle, as well as identification by the victim at the scene of their arrest, would not be allowed at trial.

The issue with the arrest of Morrison and Edmondson off Highway 49 in Auburn was the fact that they were in a vehicle whose description did not match the be-on-the-lookout advisory issued by the Grass Valley Police Department. Moments before, Mapp and Scott had been pulled over and detained in a silver sedan that did match the suspect vehicle description. Defense counsel argued successfully there was no legal basis for the traffic stop of the second car and the warrantless search of their vehicle.

“A good deal of evidence was suppressed” in the case against Morrison and Edmondson as a result of that hearing, Lisonbee said Monday. Lisonbee stressed that no plea offer has been made to Mapp or to Scott, who remain in the Nevada County Jail under $500,000 in bond each.

To contact Staff Writer Liz Kellar, email lizk@theunion.com or call 530-477-4236.

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