Prosecution of Templeton robbery case sparks feud

November 18, 2016
Albert Charles Heinicke and Donovan James Alvord

Albert Charles Heinicke and Donovan James Alvord

As the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office prosecutes a Templeton home invasion robbery case, disputes are arising over which defendants should receive which plea deals. A teen accused of beating two other teens over the head with a baseball bat is currently in line to receive the most lenient sentence, so long as he accepts a request made by prosecutors that he testify in court against the other suspects.

In July, a group of five teens showed up at a sleepover party held at a rural Templeton home where mostly Mission Prep students were gathered. The teens left the party and returned around 3 a.m. armed with guns and a baseball bat and wearing bandanas over their faces.

When the alleged robbers returned, most of the partygoers were sleeping. The defendants allegedly fired shots into the air and forced the partygoers to go outside and lie on the grass.

Some of the teens were in their pajamas at the time, and some had no shirts on. Two of the partygoers were reportedly beaten over the head with a bat.

The alleged robbers reportedly turned on the sprinklers and terrorized the teens at the party for about an hour, before robbing them of wallets, phones and even a couple vehicles.

Shortly following the robbery, sheriff’s deputies arrested Donovan James Alford, 19, of Templeton; Albert Charles Heinicke, Jr., 18, of Avila Beach; 16-year-old Marshal Ryan Kaplan; and Levi Cody Mattson and Wyatt Douglas Warnars, both 17.

Prosecutors have opted to offer Heinicke the opportunity to testify against his co-defendants. The offer would reduce Heinicke’s proposed sentence from 15 years to eight years. The district attorney’s office says it is affording the opportunity to Heinicke because he was armed with a bat, rather than a gun.

Several of the victims’ parents are angry over that decision. They say Heinicke was one of the most violent robbers. Some parents are also arguing over whether the proposed sentences for the defendants are too stiff or too lenient.

California victim law requires prosecutors to inform victims when plea deals are offered to defendants in their cases. SLO County prosecutors have indicated some of the parents in the Templeton case are taking advantage of that privilege in attempt to influence decisions about the plea deals.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Jerret Gran said there is additional confusion over the case because the victims did not provide matching stories. There were more than 20 kids at the party, and they provided vastly different stories about what happened, Gran said.

Currently, prosecutors are offering Alvord a 14-year, 4-month sentence; Mattson a 14-year, 8-month sentence; Warnars a 19-year sentence; and Kaplan a 26-year sentence. Kaplan is facing the stiffest sentence even though he is the youngest of the defendants. [Tribune]

However, the recent passage of Proposition 57 could throw a twist into the case. Prop. 57, the early release for “non-violent” felons measure, gives judges, rather than prosecutors, the power to decide whether or not to try minors as adults.

Judge John Trice will rule next month whether Prop. 57 will be applied retroactively in the Templeton robbery case. If the new law is applied retroactively, there is a chance, Mattson, Warnars and Kaplan could evade being tried as adults and thus receive lighter sentences.







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13 Comments

  1. NorthCountyGuy says:

    No plea deals, period. These vicious criminals should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

    (0) 8 Total Votes - 4 up - 4 down
  2. 1965buick says:

    Young men making terrible choices.

    Good luck.

    (6) 6 Total Votes - 6 up - 0 down
  3. rukidding says:

    Any time in prison and these punks will have paid the price. They look like prime bait for the predator’s that they will be bunking with. Yes, there still may be justice left in the system.

    (-4) 24 Total Votes - 10 up - 14 down
  4. obispan says:

    The really interesting article will be about what kids attend Mission Prep (we already know about a couple of staff) and why. It’s more than traditional Catholic families and those wanting good college prep (you can get that at any high school in this county, no problem). It is also a face-saving alternative to your rich, spoiled brat being expelled from high school and sent to continuation school. Like military school. How’s the little hellion doing? Why he’s going to Mission Prep… If your parents likewise chose not to do their job and can’t afford Mission Prep you may become one of the 20- and 30-somethings proudly riding around on the bike I rode a as kid before moving up to a ten-speed.

    (-9) 15 Total Votes - 3 up - 12 down
    • OldNed says:

      What does this even mean? The victims were MCP students, not the attackers. What relevance does the victims’ educational choices have to the guilt or or the sentences of the defendants?

      (1) 3 Total Votes - 2 up - 1 down
  5. shelworth says:

    How about 25 to life for the lot of them?

    (15) 37 Total Votes - 26 up - 11 down
  6. mullyman says:

    If the prosecuter is offering the others deals seems like he has enough evidence to confict so why does he need to offer Heinicke a deal. The last time I heard a baseball bat can kill just as a gun can. Like the old show of deal or no deal where they opened up the money cases I say no deal.

    (19) 27 Total Votes - 23 up - 4 down
  7. Slosum says:

    The silver lining is that the parents won’t have to worry about college tuition for these fine young men.

    (30) 46 Total Votes - 38 up - 8 down
    • obispan says:

      No, they will still have to pay to for them live at Stenner Glen until they flunk out of Cuesta.

      (1) 11 Total Votes - 6 up - 5 down
  8. Indy thinker says:

    Why is prop 57 being discussed at all? That is for “non-violent” criminals. Kidnapping, assault with a weapon, using guns, grand theft auto… are those not violent?

    (26) 38 Total Votes - 32 up - 6 down
    • Mariposa says:

      The “crimes” you mentioned may no longer be considered violent with the passage of Proposition 57. That’s why our local law enforcement collectively urged voters to VOTE NO on 57. Apparently, way too many voters thought they were only bluffing. Now ALL Californians are supposed to be happier and safer as they attempt to *live* with the voters’ decision by deflecting the attacks of “non-violent/non-criminals.” Oh yea, the voters have spoken once again. Enjoy!

      (27) 43 Total Votes - 35 up - 8 down
    • SLOBIRD says:

      Which is why those of us who do are reading and research knew exactly what was being proposed in Prop 57, and it is not pretty – rape, assault of a police officer, claiming you have a bomb or gun at a school, robbery, throwing acid in someone’s face. etc. are now misdemeanors. Which is why some of us are now getting our gun permits and making our purchases. Ammunition can be purchased unlimited in Neveda, Oregon, Arizona, at this time without a $50,00 permit card, good for 4 years.

      (13) 25 Total Votes - 19 up - 6 down

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