Couple ordered to stand trial for home invasion in Pacific Beach
by NEAL PUTNAM
Published - 04/11/18 - 02:57 PM | 3786 views | 0 0 comments | 70 70 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A couple was ordered Wednesday to stand trial for committing a home invasion robbery in Pacific Beach and stealing a police car, which was driven into the ocean on Fiesta Island.

Six witnesses testified in the preliminary hearing of

James Lee Graham, 40, and Stephanie Nicole Majsterski, 25, that was conducted by San Diego Superior Court Judge Fred Link.

Link ordered them to also stand trial for residential burglary, false imprisonment, and resisting arrest. They will get a trial date set on April 25.

Caroline Souza testified the couple robbed her of her wallet, cell phone, and laptops after entering her home Dec. 14, 2017 in the 2100 block of Pacific Beach Drive.

Souza, who was seven months pregnant at the time, said Graham told her “give me your money and car.”

“It scared me a lot and I was afraid he would hurt me as I was pregnant and he might hurt the baby,” testified Souza.

Souza said she was frightened and thought Graham may have had a weapon, but she didn’t see one. She said they both walked into her home through an unlocked door around 9:10 p.m.

Officer Alfredo Nafarrege testified he responded to radio call of a robbery and saw a man and woman about three blocks from the apartment. He yelled “stop!” but the couple ran in opposite directions.

Nafarrege arrested Graham and when he took him to where he had left the patrol car, he discovered it was gone. He initially thought another officer had moved it.

“I’ve never had my patrol car taken,” said Nafarrege.

The police car was apparently kept running when Nafarrege and his partner saw the couple and chased after them.

Rafael Mendoza testified he was at Fiesta Island at 9:30 p.m. with his ex-girlfriend when he saw a police patrol car drive into the water. Mendoza identified Majsterski as the woman who got out of the car and fled.

Officer Brian Kashouty was one of dozens of officers who responded to a 911 call about the patrol car in the water off Fiesta Island.

“She was soaking wet and trying to hide on the island,” said Kashouty, who said Majsterski was covered with sand.

“She refused to let me handcuff her. She was thrashing her body back and forth,” said Kashouty, who added he needed three other officers to take her into custody.

Two detectives testified they found the stolen laptops and other property in a gully and in a bag, which had the identification of Majsterski.

Attorney Denis Lainez, who represents Graham, argued he shouldn’t have to stand trial for auto theft or resisting arrest as that was allegedly committed by Majsterski. He also argued there was insufficient evidence of false imprisonment.

Deputy District Attorney Lucille Yturralde argued that Graham should stand trial for stealing the patrol car even that Majsterski took it because they both were participating in a crime spree.

Link ruled that Graham should stand trial for stealing the patrol car as an aider and abettor of Majsterski.

Yturralde said Graham was convicted of committing 10 robberies in a four-month series in 2008 in San Diego and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. He was on parole when the home invasion robbery occurred.

As a third strike defendant, Graham faces 63 years to life in prison if he’s convicted. Majsterski faces up to nine years if she is convicted, said the prosecutor.

Graham remains in the George Bailey Detention Facility on $600,000 bail while Majsterski remains in the Las Colinas Women’s Detention Facility on $300,000 bail. Both have pleaded not guilty.
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