SLO County bank robber gets 25 years to life
May 6, 2015
A Santa Maria man about to stand trial for three San Luis Obispo County bank robberies has accepted a 25 years to life sentence.
George Jessie Gonzales pleaded no contest Tuesday to three counts of robbery, according to a San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office press release. Gonzales was accused of robbing banks in Pismo Beach, Arroyo Grande and Atascadero in 2014.
The robberies occurred in a span of less than one month. Gonzales robbed a Pismo Beach Bank of America on March 21, an Arroyo Grande Bank of America on April 3 and an Atascadero Chase Bank on April 17.
After the Atascadero robbery, police found Gonzales fleeing the scene in a vehicle driven by Paso Robles resident Tonya Michelle Young. Gonzales was hiding in the trunk of the car.
Local law enforcement and the FBI used surveillance footage to determine the same getaway vehicle was used in all three of the robberies.
Young pleaded guilty last June to participating in the Atascadero robbery. She received a three-year prison sentence.
On Tuesday, Gonzales admitted to having two prior convictions that count as strikes. California’s three-strikes law requires stiffer punishments for those who commit serious or violent felonies and already have two strikes.
Judge Jacquelyn Duffy is scheduled to sentence Gonzales on July 13.