Man guilty in kidnaps of women for robbery
Published - 10/19/15 - 07:04 AM | 9202 views | 0 0 comments | 33 33 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A man who was earlier convicted of robbing two women in La Jolla was found guilty Oct. 16 of kidnapping both women for robbery, which means he could receive two life terms in prison.

Keith Luckett, 25, of Moreno Valley, was barred from the courtroom after he made an outburst during the closing arguments. He was told of the verdicts by his attorney in another room.

Luckett's outburst prompted a courthouse alert signal sent to all deputies, many of whom came inside and moved Luckett to another room. San Diego Superior Court Judge Louis Hanoian told the jury to disregard any of Luckett's statements, saying it was not evidence.

Luckett also acted irrationallyat his first trial July 10, and another judge granted a defense motion for a mistrial. Luckett was convicted of robbing the two women Aug. 12 at his second trial, but the jury deadlocked on whether he had kidnapped them for robbery.

The seven-man, five-woman jury in his third trial deliberated an hour on Oct. 16 before convicting Luckett of the kidnapping for robbery charges, which involved him forcing two women to go to their bank ATMs and withdrawing $500 each on May 4, 2014.

Deputy District Attorney Jessica Coto said Luckett faces two life terms plus six years consecutively in prison when Luckett is sentenced on Nov. 13. Luckett will have to serve 20 years in prison before his first chance at getting parole, said Coto.

Lauren Gonzalez and Stella Cha were out-of-town visitors to La Jolla to attend a wedding when Luckett pointed a gun at them in front of the La Jolla Woman’s Club at 7791 Draper St. around 12:40 a.m. Luckett ordered Cha to drive to the women's ATMs to retrieve money.

Luckett had a DNA profile with law enforcement, as he had been arrested after making threats to his father-in-law. Police arrested him at a recovery shelter and found a black BB gun under his bed. It is not known whether he used the BB gun or a real gun in the robberies.

-- Neal Putnam

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