4 juveniles plead guilty to armed robbery, murder charge dropped

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The victim's tearful mother told the court her pain will last the rest of her life. Cameras weren't allowed inside during the sentencing of four boys who pleaded to their role in the robbery of Mari's Jewelry and Stereo store last August.

The youngest suspect, just twelve years old at the time, was spared going away to the equivalent of state prison for juveniles. Instead, he will remain in custody for a year, then released on probation.

The judge could only sentence the teens to a maximum of five years, two of them received the maximum. Fresno police say both teens entered the store along with the alleged shooter, prior to the homicide.

Gerald Schwab was hoping his client would be released and placed on probation.

"Although we are disappointed in the decision to not have him locally, this is a minor that at the beginning of this case was very cognizant of the fact that he was facing the rest of his life in prison," Schwab said.

The alleged getaway driver was sentenced to four years at the state facility. While in custody, he has earned his diploma, completed a substance abuse program and anger management course.

The alleged gunman, 18-year-old Angel Morelos, is now the lone one-facing murder charges in Fresno Superior Court.

Several of the teens did stand up to apologize for what happened August 5 and a few said they took full responsibility. The judge reminded them they will all have the opportunity to have a full life and the victim will not.
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