Two men to stand trial for allegedly robbing tourists in Pacific Beach, La Jolla
by NEAL PUTNAM
Published - 10/19/17 - 05:43 PM | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Two men were ordered Oct. 19 to stand trial for allegedly robbing five tourists vacationing from Arizona in Pacific Beach.

Additionally, Ephraim Jacob Byers, 21, is accused of holding up a woman on a La Jolla street on May 12. Byers was also held to answer for grand theft in the loss of an employee’s iPhone in Pacific Beach.

Both Byers and Kyle James Holland, 20, were identified by most of the witnesses in a preliminary hearing conducted by San Diego Superior Court Judge Charles Rogers.

Three women who were vacationing together from Arizona and a couple also from Arizona were held up in two incidents in Pacific Beach in which their cell phones and other items were taken.

Rogers ordered the men to stand trial on a single count of making a criminal threat to one victim. He dismissed two counts of making a criminal threat to other victims.

The La Jolla victim said the robber pulled a gun on her and did not call police until she was safely at home as her cell phone was stolen.

Lisa Garris testified she and her husband were robbed at 2 a.m. July 24 after they left a Pacific Beach bar while they were vacationing here from Arizona.

“Two guys jumped out of the darkness with a knife,” said Garris.

“Give us all your (expletive), your purse,” Garris quoted one robber as saying.

Detective Stephanie Audette testified she interviewed Holland after his July 24 arrest and he told her he “was acting as a lookout.” She said Holland admitted Byers gave him some money for helping him in the hold-ups.

The police detective also testified Holland kept one of the cellphones that was taken from an Arizona tourist.

Courtland Nead, a manager at California Accessories on Garnet Street, testified his iPhone 6S+ was stolen by one man after two other men distracted him in the store in March.

Nead testified the three men came in together and it was believed Byers unplugged his phone that was charging at the time and took it. It was valued at $800. The three men then left together.

The charge for the theft was changed at the hearing from robbery to grand theft since the phone was taken while the victim was not in personal possession of it at the time.

Holland’s attorney argued her client was in the background in most of the incidents and was 30 feet away from the three women who were held up by Byers.

Deputy District Attorney Lucille Yturralde argued both men “acted together” in the robberies.

Rogers ordered both men to next appear in court on Nov. 6 when a trial date will be set. They have both pleaded not guilty.

Bail for Byers is set at $500,000 as he has a previous case and is accused of using a gun in one robbery, said Yturralde. Holland’s bail is $150,000 and both remain in jail. Byers was also arrested July 24 by San Diego Police.
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