In a week-long crime spree that occurred the same week a Bonnie and Clyde TV miniseries aired, two people decided to accept a plea deal rather than face trial. 29-year-old Codie Vargas-Alegre and 38-year-old Juan Mario Hernandez-Correa recently pleaded guilty in Kent County Circuit Court in connection with the armed robberies of four retailers over a week-long time span in July.
Hernandez-Correa and Vargas-Alegre both pleaded guilty to two counts of armed robbery which took place in the Wyoming vicinity between July 11 and 19, according to a news article at Mlive.com. Vargas-Alegre allegedly used pepper spray, a knife, and implied she had a gun in order to threaten store employees and customers while robbing area gas stations and convenience stores. Hernandez-Correa drove the getaway car, according to Wyoming Police. Two charges of armed robbery were dropped in exchange for the defendants’ guilty pleas.
In all, the two allegedly robbed two Dollar General stores, one located at 919 36th St. SW, the other at 1055 Burton St. SW, a CVS Pharmacy located at 5603 Byron Center Ave., and a Cash Advance store located at 1044 28th St. SW. Both of the defendants face a maximum of life in prison when sentenced. Hernandez-Correa is scheduled for sentencing on January 8; Vargas-Alegre is scheduled for sentencing on January 22.
Michigan criminal defense attorneys know that in cases where a defendant agrees to a plea deal offered by prosecutors, punishment is often reduced in exchange. For example, Hernandez-Correa was originally offered a plea deal in October which would have left him facing a maximum of 15 years in prison; however, he declined this offer.
Ultimately, anyone accused of a serious or violent crime should work with a skilled defense lawyer who can advise you regarding legal options, and which may result in the best outcome. There are situations in which it is best to move toward trial, and others where accepting a plea deal may be more advantageous. In addition, there are instances in which quick action may work to prevent charges being filed.