Nevada County judge denies bond reduction request in home invasion case
December 6, 2018
The judge paused to read a note before declining to lower bonds for four men accused of a Grass Valley home invasion.
The half-page note was handed to Superior Court Judge Robert Tice-Raskin at a Thursday hearing. The courtroom remained silent as he read the letter from a woman who calls her Grass Valley home a "personal jail cell" after she said men entered and terrorized her and her child.
"I rarely get more than 3 hours of sleep and haven't been able to keep food down for week," the victim writes. "My body is fatigued and my mind even more so. I'm exhausted yet can't seem to rest. This has destroyed every part of my life."
Christopher Brandon Mapp, 29, of Antelope; Lorne Leroy Scott, 31, of New York City; Giovannie S. Morrison, 37, of Roseville; and Alton E. Edmondson, 38, of Grayson, Georgia, each face charges of first-degree residential robbery, first-degree residential burglary and two counts of assault with a semi-automatic firearm. Mapp and Scott face three allegations each of personal use of a firearm, court records state.
Authorities claim the men on Nov. 22 entered a Pleasant Street home after arranging to buy marijuana. Arrested that day and found with 97 pounds of suspected marijuana, the men appeared Thursday in Nevada County Superior Court. All but Edmondson asked the judge to lower their $500,000 bonds.
Deputy District Attorney Ed Grubaugh opposed the request. He said the men tied up three people, one of them a 4-year-old child. One man put a gun to a victim's head and cocked it.
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Deputy Public Defender Tamara Zuromskis, who represents Morrison, argued her client isn't accused of having a firearm. Additionally, he's married and has lived in Roseville around 10 years.
Zuromskis asked for a bond reduction to $200,000.
"This is not a case that seems any more serious than any other robbery," she said.
Grubaugh disagreed, saying one witness told authorities the suspects tied up a 4-year-old child. Zuromskis said a different witness told police the child wasn't bound.
"That sounds out of the ordinary, unusual, terrifying and very, very dangerous," Grubaugh said as he argued against lowered bonds.
Additionally, Grubaugh pointed to a pending charge Morrison faces in Placer County — rape of an unconscious person. Zuromskis said prosecutors in that county have offered a plea deal to a different charge that isn't a sex crime.
"There is more to that story," Zuromskis said.
Defense attorney Jennifer Walters, who represents Mapp, said her client has no criminal record. He lives with his fiancee and works for a trucking company.
Bill Walker, the defense attorney who represents Scott, said his client is a permanent resident of the United States. He's trying to bring his children to California from Jamaica.
The arguments failed to sway the judge.
"It appeared to be an arranged marijuana robbery in which two if not three individuals were held captive," Tice-Raskin said. "A gun was cocked in their presence."
All four men remained jailed Thursday afternoon under bond.
To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4239.
Defense attorney Jennifer Walters’ name was misspelled in an earlier version of this story.
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