Man who robbed Pacific Beach tourists receives 12-year prison term
by NEAL PUTNAM
Published - 02/15/18 - 05:54 PM | 1293 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Blue tinted monotone image of a gavel and scales of justice
Blue tinted monotone image of a gavel and scales of justice
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A man who held up five tourists in Pacific Beach and a woman in La Jolla was sentenced Thursday to 12 years in state prison.

Ephraim Jacob Byers, 21, was denied probation by San Diego Superior Court Judge Michael Groch, who ordered him to pay $870 to three victims.

Byers’ accomplice, Kyle James Holland, 20, was sentenced to one year in jail on terms of three years probation. He was also ordered to pay the victims back.

Holland received credit for serving 413 days in jail, which exceeds the 1-year term and he was expected to be released from jail Thursday or Friday.

Groch suspended a 6-year prison term for Holland which he won’t have to serve if he follows all the rules on probation. He was also fined.

Byers had a 2015 assault conviction for which he received probation. He was also convicted of being a felon in possession of ammunition in another case, said Deputy District Attorney Lucille Yturralde.

Yturralde asked for 20 years for him. Byers faced a maximum term of 21 years and six months in prison because he admitted to personally using a gun when he held up the La Jolla woman on Coast Boulevard on May 12 at night. The gun allegation carried a 10-year sentence.

Byers pleaded guilty to more charges than Holland, who also pleaded guilty to committing multiple robberies. Both men also pleaded guilty to making a criminal threat to one victim.

Groch indicated he was going to limit the prison term for Byers to be between 11-14 years. The prosecutor then sought a 14-year term.

Byers also pleaded guilty to petty theft in an incident at a Pacific Beach business in which an employee’s I-phone was stolen last March after he was distracted in the store.

Some of the victims had not submitted their paperwork to the court as to their losses, so Groch ruled that he could impose additional restitution later against both men.

Both Byers and Holland were identified by most of the witnesses in a preliminary hearing on Oct. 19.

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

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.
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